Day Two, July 5: Novena to Saints Louis and Zélie Martin

 Day Two: Serve God First

“Seek first his kingdom, and all these things shall be yours as well.” Luke 12:31

“…Prayer, which is personal friendship with Christ and contemplation in him of the face of the Father, is indispensably at the root of the formation of the Christian and of the transmission of the faith. The same is, of course, also true for all our missionary commitment, and particularly for the pastoral care of families: therefore, may the Family of Nazareth be for our families and our communities the object of constant and confident prayer as well as their life model.”

            Benedict XVI, Address to the Participants in the Ecclesial Diocesan Convention of Rome, 6 June 2005

“Something strange happened to me recently with the little one [Thérèse]. I’m used to going to the five-thirty mass. In the beginning I didn’t dare leave her, but seeing that she never woke up, I ended up deciding to leave her alone. I laid her in my bed and moved the crib so close to it that it was impossible for her to fall.

            “One day, I forgot to move the crib. When I got home I saw the little one was no longer in my bed. At the same moment, I heard a cry. I looked, and I saw her seated on a chair that was close to the head of my bed. Her little head was on the bolster, and there she was sleeping restlessly because she was uncomfortable.”

            Letter of Zélie to her daughters Marie and Pauline, CF 119

“Everything I see is splendid, but it’s always an earthly beauty, and our heart is satisfied with nothing as long as we’re not seeing the infinite beauty that is God.”

            Letter of Louis to his daughter Marie during a trip overseas (Milan), CF 229

Placing our intention for this novena into the Lord’s hands, we tell him of our desire to love him and serve him like Saints Louis and Zélie Martin, knowing that everything will be given to us as well.

Psalm 62

O God, you are my God, for you I long;
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
to see your strength and your glory.

For your love is better than life,
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life,
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet,
my mouth shall praise you with joy.

On my bed I remember you.
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help;
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand holds me fast.

Glory to the Father…

Novena Prayer

O God, in Louis and Zélie Martin you have given us an example of holiness lived in marriage.

Look kindly upon the families of our time, and strengthen them with your love;

Let young people find in them the support they need to hear your voice and respond to your call.

Support the sick and the elderly with your power.

Louis and Zélie loved to pray to Notre-Dame des Victoires; through her intercession, we present to you our intention for this novena…

            (period of silence, or state the intention)

Watch over us, and lead us at last into your kingdom of love.

Notre-Dame des Victoires, pray for us.

Holy Family of Nazareth, pray for us.

Saints Louis and Zélie Martin, pray for us.

Novena translated by Elizabeth and Turner Nevitt from: Neuvaine par l’intercession des bienheureux Louis and Zélie Martin. Basilique Notre-Dame des Victoires (Paris). Éditions Salvator: Paris, 2010. Used with permission of Hervé Soubias, rector of the Basilica of Notre-Dame des Victoires, Paris.

Louis and Zélie Martin. A Call to a Deeper Love: The Family Correspondence of the Parents of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, 1863–1885. Ed. Frances Renda. Trans. Ann Conors Hess. New York: St Paul, 2010. Translation of Correspondance familiale (1863–1885), Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 2009.

The Psalms: The Grail Translation. 1963.

The Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition. 1966.