Mass to welcome Martin family relics

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A composite photo of Saints Louis and Zélie Martin, parents of St Therese of Lisieux. PHOTO: Sanctuaire de Lisieux

A special Mass to welcome the relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux and her parents, saints Zélie and Louis, to Sydney at St Mary’s Cathedral on 1 February at 6pm will be celebrated by Bishop Terry Brady.

The relics are scheduled to arrive at 4.30pm and the cathedral will remain open for an all-night vigil before their departure at 4pm on 2 February. The relics will be available for veneration following the Mass.

They will travel to St Michael’s parish in Belfield for an all-night vigil and from there to St Aloysius parish, Cronulla, and Holy Family parish, Menai, before an all-night vigil at St Joseph’s, Camperdown on 4 February.

St Therese of Lisieux, known as the ‘little flower’, in the Discalced Carmelite convent at Lisieux in north west France. PHOTO: Sanctuaire de Lisieux

After travelling through other dioceses the relics return to St Therese’s parish at Mascot on 10 March and will visit several parishes, universities and schools throughout Sydney until 18 March.

When canonising her in 1925 Pope St Pius X called St Thérèse the greatest saint of modern times. She was “a woman of precocious virtue and prayer” whose extraordinary goodness grew in the context of her family life, said Bishop Greg Homeming OCD in a written statement.

“St Thérèse is the daughter of holiness. The Church recognised that goodness is caught, and so investigated her parents, and found two saints.

“Being a family, the Martins prove that the family is the seed ground of holiness and goodness. We can learn from them.”

While there is “nothing magical or talisman-like” about the relics of saints, because of their connection to the holy person the relics can make it possible to connect with the holiness of God through the saint, he said.

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French relics visit a time of grace