The Mother of the Little Flower: Zelie Martin
Publisher: TAN Books
Publication Date: 2005-08-01
Zelie Martin and her husband Louis were declared Venerable by the Church in 1994 for their Heroic Virtue, and the couple's cause is now progressing toward Beatification. Zelie married at 27, bore 9 children, ran a home business and did a superb job of raising 5 daughters including "the greatest saint of modern times" (St. Pius X). She died of breast cancer at 45, but her greatness was recognized by her family and her friends, and is now known to the world.
Zelie suffered many of the ordinary burdens of life, yet she was happy, loved her children madly and enjoyed them immensely. This book was written by her daughter Celine, who had access to Zelie's letters and to the reminiscences of her older sisters in the Carmel of Lisieux. It is authentic and inspiring, showing what a tremendous life's work and accomplishment it is to be a truly Catholic mother. Looking at Zelie's picture, one can see her incredible character, integrity, goodness, constancy and love.
I have prayefully read through this book multiple times. It was life-changing for me. Like many young Catholic women, I had a lot of struggles finding and initially accepting my vocation, although it ended most happily . Zelie is a great friend to have during those times. She also lays the ground work for Therese's the Little Way. Just in this little text we see her struggle a bit with Jansenism and scrupulosity but eventually arrive at a place of greater joy and trust. And the parenting tips and inspirations within are gems. Encouraging to see that an imperfect but very devout and zealous mother can raise a great saint.