St. Thérèse of Lisieux's Parents Closer to Beatification

Child, Inexplicably Cured, Marks His 1st Birthday

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ROME, MAY 30, 2003 ( Louis and Zelie Martin, the parents of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, are moving a step closer to beatification.

Only the signature of the archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, is required to close the diocesan phase of the process of recognition of the inexplicable cure of a child, attributed to the Martins’ intercession, according to the Italian newspaper Avvenire.

Pietro Schiliro was born on May 25, 2002, with severely deformed lungs and serious respiratory problems. When he was baptized last June 2, his parents were told that his death was imminent.

Pietro’s parents started a novena to Louis and Zelie Martin, praying for their child’s cure. Within weeks, the child’s condition improved notably. Last Sunday Pietro celebrated his first birthday. He shows no vestiges of his birth defects.

The doctors who studied the case say there is no scientific explanation to justify the child’s cure.

The results of the investigation of the cure will be sent to Rome, where the dossier will be studied by committees of doctors and of theologians. If their conclusions agree with those of the Milan researchers, the case will be taken to a Consistory of Cardinals, which would give its approval in the Pope’s presence.

Louis (1823-1894) and Zelie (1831-1877) Martin are known as the parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, who was proclaimed a doctor of the Church by John Paul II in 1997. Married in 1858, the Martins had nine children. Four died in infancy and five entered the religious life.

In March 1994 the Pope proclaimed the Martin spouses venerable. They might soon be the second married couple to be beatified simultaneously. Luigi and Maria Beltrame Quattrocchi were beatified in October 2001.

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