Having seven daughters, I’ve always been interested in Louis Martin and his family. Louis and his wife Zelie had 9 children …. 5 who became nuns including Therese of Lisieux, the “Little Flower”. They were certainly holy and raised an incredibly holy family. Louis loved nature, made pilgrimages to holy places, prayed a lot, was a master jeweler and watchmaker. Louis and Zelie were the first saints canonized as a couple. Let’s agree they are a “tough act to follow”.
I recently read one of his letters to a friend. In addition to being very holy, it seems that Louis was also a regular guy. He had nicknames for all his daughters… St. Therese was “my little queen”.
Louis was grateful for all his many blessings…as a widower he wrote “ the memories of my whole life are so pleasant that in spite of the ordeals I’ve been through, there are moments when my heart overflows with joy.” He ended the letter with “have I babbled enough …. it’s been a long time since that’s happened to me. Could I by chance be getting younger…all my best to you, my friend, I love you like a brother.” (Magnificat, Nov. 11, 2020)
Finally something Louis and I have in common…. Louis “babbled” at times. Often at the end of the day while I’m making some interesting point, Judy will say “you’re babbling again”…I quickly jump to the defense with “excuse me, I don’t think I’m babbling…I’m making a very interesting point…no, you’re babbling….hmmmm. Well, now I don’t have to become defensive. I can casually mention that you know, “a lot of the saints babbled…St. Louis Martin, father of the “Little Flower” tended to babble at times….. bla, bla, bla. Oh, and there’s one more thing… some of my children have nicknames….you may remember from a previous BLOG, “Little Beanie, “Wallpaper”, and the “Chicken”…. and of course my grade school friend “Meatball Mender”.
Yet despite imitating the saints in some of these incidentals, we really need to imitate them by doing God’s will.. loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and our neighbor as our self. St. Louis, please pray for us that we do imitate you as you imitated the Lord.