Marie-Azélie Guérin Martin
|Blessed Marie-Azélie Guérin Martin|
|Born||23 December 1831
Saint-Denis-sur-Sarthon, Orne, France
|Died||28 August 1877 (aged 45)
Alençon, Orne, France
|Honored in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Beatified||19 October 2008, Basilique de Sainte-Thérèse by Pope Benedict XVI|
Marie-Azélie Guérin was born in Saint-Denis-sur-Sarthon, Orne, France and was the second daughter of Isidore Guérin and Louise-Jeanne Macé. She had an older sister, Marie-Louise, who became a Visitandine nun, and a younger brother, Isidore, who was a pharmacist. Her maternal family were from the Madré, in the neighbouring department of Mayenne, where her grandfather Louis Macé was baptised on the 16th March 1778.
Zélie wanted to become a nun, but was turned away by the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul due to respiratory difficulties and recurrent headaches. Zélie then prayed for God to give her children and that they would be consecrated to God.
Marriage and family
Although Zélie and Louis had led a continent marriage for almost a year, they had decided to have children. They would have nine children, though only five daughters would survive childhood; all became nuns:
- Marie Louise (22 February 1860 – 19 January 1940), as a nun, Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart, Carmelite at Lisieux.
- Marie Pauline (September 7, 1861 – July 28, 1951), as a nun, Mother Agnès of Jesus, Carmelite at Lisieux.
- Marie Léonie (June 3, 1863 – June 16, 1941), as a nun, Sister Françoise-Thérèse, Visitandine at Caen.
- Marie Hélène (October 3, 1864 – February 22, 1870)
- Marie Joseph-Louis (September 20, 1866 – February 14, 1867)
- Marie Joseph-Jean-Baptiste (December 19, 1867 – August 24, 1868)
- Marie Céline (April 28, 1869 – 25 February 1959), as a nun, Sister Geneviève of the Holy Face, Carmelite at Lisieux.
- Marie Mélanie-Thérèse (August 16, 1870 – October 8, 1870)
- Marie Françoise Thérèse (January 2, 1873 – September 30, 1897), as a nun, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face, Carmelite at Lisieux, canonised in 1925.
Louis and Marie-Azélie Martin were declared "venerable" on 26 March 1994 by Pope John Paul II. They were beatified on 19 October 2008 by Jose Cardinal Saraiva Martins, the legate of Pope Benedict XVI in Basilique de Sainte-Thérèse, Lisieux, France. For Louis and Zélie to be canonized, the Church must find that God worked a miracle at their intercession.
On January 7, 2013 Archbishop Carlos Osoro Serra of Valencia, Spain presided at the opening of the canonical process to inquire into the healing of a little girl named Carmen who was born in Valencia only four days before Louis and Zelie were beatified. The process is scheduled to close on May 21, 2013. The file will then be sent to Rome to be examined by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
In 2011 the letters of Blessed Zélie and Louis Martin were published in English as A Call to a Deeper Love: The Family Correspondence of the Parents of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, 1863-1885," translated by Ann Connors Hess and edited by Dr. Frances Renda (Staten Island, N.Y.: Alba House.