|Statue of St. Louis and St. Therese. Photo by Katie Boos.
Day Five: Work and the Duties of One’s State in Life
“Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord.” Colossians 3:17
“From the example of St. Joseph we all receive a strong invitation to carry out with fidelity, simplicity and modesty the task that Providence has entrusted to us. I think especially of fathers and mothers of families, and I pray that they will always be able to appreciate the beauty of a simple and industrious life, cultivating the conjugal relationship with care and fulfilling with enthusiasm the great and difficult educational mission.
“May he help every Christian to fulfill God’s will with confidence and love, thereby cooperating in the fulfillment of the work of salvation.”
Benedict XVI, Angelus, 19 March 2006
“I have many problems that other women in my situation don’t have. It’s this awful Alençon lace that makes life difficult. When I have too many orders, I’m a slave to the worst kind of slavery. When it’s not going well and I find myself liable for 20,000 francs out of my own account, and I have to send to other firms the workers who were so hard to find, this gives me reason to worry, as well as nightmares! Oh well, what can I do? I must accept it and come to terms with it as bravely as possible.”
Letter of Zélie to her brother Isidore, CF 15
“Needless to say, your letter made me very happy, except I see that you’ve tired yourself out far too much. So I strongly recommend calm and moderation, above all in your work. I have some orders from the Compagnie Lyonnaise; once again, don’t worry so much. We’ll manage, with God’s help, to build a good little company.”
Letter of Louis to Zélie, CF 2-a
Louis and Zélie Martin both worked hard to provide for the education of their children. In asking for their intercession, let us offer the Lord the duties of our state in life, and increase our prayers for those who lack work.
If the Lord does not build the house,
in vain do its builders labor;
if the Lord does not watch over the city,
in vain does the watchman keep vigil.
In vain is your earlier rising,
your going later to rest,
you who toil for the bread you eat:
when he pours out gifts on his beloved while they slumber.
Truly sons are a gift from the Lord,
a blessing, the fruit of the womb.
Indeed the sons of youth
are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.
O the happiness of the man
who has filled his quiver with these arrows!
He will have no cause for shame
when he disputes with his foes in the gateways.
Glory to the Father…
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.
“Benedict XVI.” https://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en.html
The Psalms: The Grail Translation. 1963.
The Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition. 1966.