Prayer to a ‘Power Couple’ for Parents Today

Saint Zelie Martin and St. Louis Martin, Parents of St. Therese of Lisieux (Public Domain)

Saints Louis and Zélie, parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, were the first married couple to be canonized together. They are a Catholic power couple for their faithfulness to God throughout their lives, even in the face of tragedy and tremendous suffering.

Both Louis and Zélie felt called to religious life, but God had different plans. Louis became a watchmaker, and Zélie became a lace maker. For a while after they were married, they lived as celibates, until a priest convinced them to be open to life. They had nine children, four of whom died in infancy, and five of whom entered religious life.

The Martins are often invoked for their intercession by homemakers, businesswomen, and work-from-home parents, and for good reason. Somehow, while raising their children, Zélie ran a successful business – so successful that Louis was able to sell his watchmaking business to go all-in with her.

That doesn’t mean Zélie wasn’t completely exhausted. Quite the contrary! She had several women working for her as her business flourished, and she regularly woke at 5:00 a.m. and worked until 11 p.m. In her letters to Louis (who traveled to manage wholesale lace contracts), she is candid about her struggles with raising the children, keeping up with the business, and managing the household duties. And then, on top of everything else, she got breast cancer.

Yet she did it. The Martins bravely bore their crosses with love, fully aware of their mission to raise their children for Heaven. They truly are worthy of the title of “Saints.”

Based on their life circumstances, Saints Louis and Zélie can be invoked for a number of other reasons:

  • For married couples and those discerning marriage
  • For women in supervisory roles
  • For parents suffering child loss
  • For parents raising multiple daughters
  • For couples discerning family size
  • For young widowers
  • For parents who struggle to find reliable childcare
  • For parents of strong-willed children
  • For women who fight injustices
  • For breast cancer sufferers

Whatever suffering the Lord permits for your good, ask the Martins for their intercession. If anyone modeled good, tired Catholic parenting well, it’s Saints Louis and Zélie.

Let us pray:

Sts. Louis and Zélie, I look to you for assistance with (state your need).
Since you successfully raised five daughters who entered religious life,
and since you modeled so beautifully the abandonment
and trust required for Christian holiness,
I ask with confidence for your heavenly friendship
as I attempt to do the same in my life, Amen.

-Written by David and Debbie Cowden, and published in “The Prayer Book for Tired Parents: Practical Ways to Grow in Love of God and Get Your Family to Heaven,” (Copyright David and Debbie Cowden, EWTN Publishing 2022), available at Used here with permission.

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