Pope Francis to canonise saint’s parents

Vatican City, Oct 17 (IANS/AKI) Pope Francis on will Sunday canonise the parents of 19th-century French saint Therese of Lisieux during a ceremony in Vatican City’s St.Peter’s Square.

It is for the first time in the history of the Catholic church that a married couple will together be proclaimed as saints.

Louis and Zelie Martin met in 1858 after he had failed to become a monk and she to become a nun. They married the same year and had nine children, the youngest of whom was Therese.

The Martins practiced charity, visiting the sick and elderly and welcoming the occasional vagabond to their table. Zelie, a lace-maker, died of breast-cancer in 1877 aged 45.

Louis, a jeweller who outlived his wife and raised five of their children alone, died in 1894 aged 70 after two major strokes left him an invalid in the final years of his life.

Therese, who became a Discalced Carmelite nun at the age of 15, died of tuberculosis in 1897 at the age of 24.

Pope St. Pius X designated Therese “the greatest saint of modern times”.

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