The time and place has now been announced for the beatification of the Louis and Zélie Martin, the parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. The announcement was made yesterday by Cardinal José Saraiva Martins in Alençon, France, where there was a special celebration of the 150th anniversary of the marriage of the Martin parents. Cardinal Martins is the Vatican's Prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The beatification of Louis and Zélie Martin will be held on Mission Sunday, October 19, in Lisieux.
Zenit has articles about the announcement in French and English. Maureen O'Riordan, who brought the date and location to my attention in her comment to my earlier post, also has an announcement on her website about St. Thérèse and her parents. Maureen's site has more information about the lives of the Martin parents and about St. Thérèse, and it is sure to be a good source of information about the upcoming beatification. In French, the website of the Diocese of Bayeux and Lisieux has more information about the Martin family and the cause for their beatification.
Mission Sunday is important to the life of St. Thérèse because of her desire to be a missionary and her role in supporting missionaries through prayer. She is a universal co-patron saint of missions. St. Thérèse was declared a Doctor of the Church on October 19, 1997 by Pope John Paul II. His homily from that occasion explains why he chose Mission Sunday to proclaim her a Doctor of the Church:
"Thérèse Martin, a discalced Carmelite of Lisieux, ardently desired to be a missionary. She was one, to the point that she could be proclaimed patroness of the missions. Jesus himself showed her how she could live this vocation: by fully practising the commandment of love, she would be immersed in the very heart of the Church's mission, supporting those who proclaim the Gospel with the mysterious power of prayer and communion. Thus she achieved what the Second Vatican Council emphasized in teaching that the Church is missionary by nature (cf. Ad gentes, n. 2). Not only those who choose the missionary life but all the baptized are in some way sent ad gentes.
"This is why I chose this missionary Sunday to proclaim St Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face a doctor of the universal Church: a woman, a young person, a contemplative."