Invitation to Cathedral of the Assumption, Carlow
We are very honoured to have the Relics of Saints Louis and Zélie Martin with their youngest daughter Thérèse of Lisieux visit the Cathedral of the Assumption in Carlow on Monday August 20th. The Relics will be at the Phoenix Park for the Papal Mass on Sunday August 26th.
Bishop Denis will celebrate 10am Mass, the Relics are due to arrive at approximately 11am and will depart at 7pm with Evening Prayer.
An invitation is extended to everyone to venerate the Relics during the day. We are very grateful to the Carmelite Community for their kindness in offering us this lovely opportunity in such an important week for the Catholic community in Ireland as we prepare to join with families from all over the world for the WMOF2018 and the visit of Pope Francis.
Louis and Zélie Martin
Louis and Zélie Martin were beatified on 19 October 2008, not because they gave five religious to the Church, one of whom is a saint, but because their married life gave witness of an exemplary Christian life. That life was completely ordinary, that of a Christian couple who raised their children by working together. They knew the joy and pain of all families, but in their togetherness all was love: the love of God; love of their children; love of others. Saint Thérèse wrote to abbé Bellière: “The good Lord gave me a father and a mother more worthy of heaven than of earth.” And in a letter to Father Roulland she speaks of the “heaven towards which tended all their actions and all their desires.” Their life is like a catechism on family life.
Why Venerate Relics?
Relics are a key connection to someone important from our past. When a loved one dies we instinctively hold on to something that connects us to them – a ring, a watch, a bracelet, a particular photo, a special book. These are all connections to the one who has died and they remind us not just of the person but of who they were, what they did and what they stood for. So too in religion, but in religion there is an added element to the relic of a saint. A relic brings us very much into the presence of God in his Kingdom, where the saint intercedes on our behalf.
Relics raise us up, not just in terms of a comforting presence, but they remind us that the saints were human just like us, that, like us, they too had struggles. They remind us that we, like the saints, can overcome our struggles and be raised up to the Kingdom to live alongside them in God’s eternal life. We do not worship the saints or their relics – we worship God alone – but we venerate them and are encouraged by them to live the kind of life God asks us to live.
From the website of The Irish Province of the Order of Carmelites (O.Carm.)
Prayer for the Family
Father in Heaven
You called Louis and Zélie Martin to holiness
through their married life.
You gave them as Mother and Father to
St. Therese of Lisieux.
Through their intercession,
we ask you to bless the married couples of our diocese
and those who are preparing for marriage.
Bless our children and our grandchildren.
Guide us by your Holy Spirit to bear witness in our lives
to the beauty of the Sacrament of Marriage.
Guide us as citizens to make the kind of decisions
that will support family life, protect marriage
and respect the dignity of children.
We make this prayer through Christ our Lord.