The Bishop of Portsmouth has issued a diocesan prayer card to every member of his diocese in preparation for the visit of the relics of Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin in May this year.
During the Chrism Mass at St John’s Cathedral in Portsmouth yesterday, Bishop Philip Egan encouraged the faithful to ask the prayers of Blessed Louis and Zelie for the intentions of the family synod in October.
Blessed Martin and Zelie were the parents of St Thérèse of Lisieux, affectionately known as the Little Flower. The relics will tour the Diocese of Plymouth and the Diocese of Portsmouth between May 15 and 20.
The prayer begins: “God our Father, I thank you for having given us Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin, the parents of St Therese. United and faithful in marriage, they have left us an example of Christian living and evangelical virtue. In raising a large family through trials, suffering and bereavement, they put their trust in you and always sought your will.”
The Diocese of Portsmouth have also announced that the motto of of the relics’ visit will be “united and faithful” in order to “recall the virtues of Christian marriage and to meditate on the Church’s call to remain united and faithful to Christ and His teachings.”
The full text of the prayer reads: “God our Father, I thank you for having given us Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin, the parents of St Therese. United and faithful in marriage, they have left us an example of Christian living and evangelical virtue. In raising a large family through trials, suffering and bereavement, they put their trust in you and always sought your will.
“Deign, Lord, to make known your will in their regard and grant the favour I ask, in the hope that the father and mother of St Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face may soon be canonized and thereby held up to the universal Church as model for the families of our time. Through their intercession, we pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance of the Church as we approach the Extraordinary Synod, and that the whole Body of Christ might be strengthened in their witness to the beauty of marriage and family life. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.”
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