Pope canonises parents of St Thérèse of Lisieux

Pope Francis called on people to replace their thirst for power with the joy of quiet and humble service, as he proclaimed four new saints, including the parents of St Thérèse of Lisieux. 

All of Christ’s disciples, especially its pastors, are called to model themselves after Jesus and “suppress our instinctive desire to exercise power over others, and instead exercise the virtue of humility,” he said.

The Pope said the new saints – a Spanish religious woman, an Italian priest and the first married couple with children to be canonised together – “unfailingly served their brothers and sisters with outstanding humility and charity in imitation of the divine master”.

On World Mission Sunday, October 18 in St Peter’s Square, during the Synod of Bishops on the family, the Pope created the following new saints:

Louis Martin (1823-1894) and Marie Zelie Guerin Martin (1831-1877), the French parents of St Thérèse of Lisieux. 

They had nine children; four died in infancy and five entered religious life. During their 19-year marriage, the couple was known to attend Mass daily, pray and fast, respect the Sabbath, visit the elderly and the sick, and welcome the poor into their home.

Italian Father Vincenzo Grossi (1845-1917), founder of the Institute of the Daughters of the Oratory.

Spanish Sister Maria of the Immaculate Conception (1926-1998), a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Company of the Cross.

Some 65,000 people attended the Mass, including the more than 300 cardinals, bishops and others taking part in the October 4-25 Synod on the Family.