Couple Proclaimed Gospel in Marriage, Says Pope

St. Thérèse’s Parents Beatified on World Mission Sunday

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POMPEII, Italy, OCT. 19, 2008 ( Benedict XVI said the second couple to be beatified in the history of the Church proclaimed the Gospel through living an «exemplary» married life.

Louis Martin and Marie-Zélie Guérin, the parents of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, were beatified today in Lisieux, France, by Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, retired prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes.

Before praying the Angelus today during his one-day trip to the shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii, the Pope noted that the beatification fell on the same date as World Mission Sunday. Pius XI, he explained, declared St. Thérèse «patroness of the missions.»

The Pontiff said the two parents «proclaimed the Gospel of Christ through their exemplary married life. They lived their faith ardently and transmitted it to their family and all around them.»

«Through their prayer and their evangelical witness,» he added, «St. Thérèse’s parents accompanied and shared the journey of their daughter, who was called by the Lord to unconditionally consecrate herself to him within the walls of Carmel.»

1st duty

«It was there, in the obscurity of the cloister, that St. Thérèse realized her vocation “to be love in the heart of the Church,'» he added, quoting from the saint’s autobiography.

«Prayer,» affirmed Benedict XVI, «is the first missionary duty of each one of us. It is first of all through prayer that the way for the Gospel is prepared; it is through prayer that hearts are opened to the mystery of God and that souls are disposed to receive his Word of salvation.»

«With the beatification of the Martins in mind,» he continued, «I would like to recall another intention that is close to my heart: the family, whose role is fundamental in nurturing in their children a universal spirit, open and responsive to the world and its problems, and in forming vocations to missionary life.»

The Pope then asked for prayers for the 4th World Meeting of the Families, which will take place in Mexico City in January.

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