Relics of St.Therese of Lisieux and her parents exposed to show the sanctity of married life

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
17 Oct 2014

The Synod on the Family has placed a spotlight on the important role faith plays in marriage, relationships and parenting.

As an example of the role that holiness plays in family, the Synod Fathers wished for the presence  of two couples who are on the road to sainthood.

Vice-Postulator, Blesseds Louis and Zélie Martin
"The presence of these two couples marks an important moment in the history of the Church. That conjugal life, the life of spouses is a life worthy of sanctity. And that conjugal life, conjugal love does not work against the sanctity of life."

The relics of Blesseds Louis and Zélie Martin, their daughter, St. Therese of Lisieux, as well as the relics of Italian couple Blessed Luigi and Maria Quattrocchi were brought to Rome for the Synod. Their relics were venerated by the Pope at the Synod's Opening Mass.

During the two weeks of the Synod, the relics are housed here, at the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major. Pilgrims from around the world, have made their way to the basilica, to pray for their intercession during this time in the Church.

Fr. Antonio Sangalle is the custodian of the relics as well as the vice-postulator for the cause of canonization of Blesseds Louis and Zélie Martin. He believes the lives of St. Therese of Lisieux's parents is significant for this Synod on the Family.

Vice-Postulator, Blesseds Louis and Zélie Martin
"Their fundamental significance is to interceed. It is the communion of saints. That which we ask to these blessed couples, and that which those in Heaven want, as they are united, the who communion of saints intercedes. FLASH So this great people, our great intercessors in Heaven are turned towards this great event in the Church, this Extraordinary Synod."

Fr. Sangalle said that the lives of Blesseds Louis and Zélie Martin are an important message for families today in placing God at the center of their lives. In doing so, they influenced the saintly life of their daughter, St. Therese.

Vice-Postulator, Blesseds Louis and Zélie Martin
"According to what the Gospel teaches us, we will know a tree by its fruits. If we see that the fruit of this family was St. Therese of Lisieux, a patroness of the missions, a young Doctor of the Church, then we should understand that the tree was her mother and father. St. Therese would say of her family that God gave her a father and a mother more worthy of heaven than of earth."

In 2001, Pope John Paul II declared Luigi and Maria Beltrame Quattrocchi blessed, making them the first married couple to be beatified together in the Church's history. Both couples, Fr. Sangalle said, are a testament to the holiness of married couples and families.

The relics of the holy couples and of St. Therese of Lisieux will remain in the Basilica of St. Mary Major until October 19th, at the conclusion of the Synod on the Family.