Blessed Zelie Martin: Part Three of the Summer Saints Series: Saints for the Working Catholic Mom

Blessed Zelie and Louis Martin, holy parents of St. Therese of Liseux.

Blessed Zelie and Louis Martin, holy parents of St. Therese of Liseux.



Blessed Zelie Martin, mother of St. Therese of Liseux, was one holy woman!  In fact, before she married Blessed Louis Martin, Zelie was discerning the religious life.  When the Martin’s met, they married 3 months later.



Date of Birth:  December 23, 1831
Date of Death:  August 28, 1877
Beatification:  October 19, 2008 by Jose Cardinal Sararva Martins, the legate of  Pope Benedict XVI
Career Path:  Lacemaker
Vocation:  Holy Matrimony

When I think of Blessed Zelie, I think of the Proverbs 31 woman.  I especially think of Proverbs 31:13:

She obtains wool and flax and makes cloth with skillful hands.

This is exactly what Blessed Zelie did: she was a lacemaker by trade. I imagine her business was a profitable one, since the Martin’s lived amongst society. However, no matter how profitable, Blessed Zelie stressed living a simple life. Eventually, Blessed Louis joined his wife in her business pursuits. Blessed Louis traveled and worked the finances for the business, while Blessed Zelie attended to the lace and vision of the business.

This holy couple had 9 children, five of which were daughters who survived into young adulthood. Of the five daughters, all would become nuns. St. Therese of Liseux is perhaps the most famous. St. Therese was only 4 years old when her mother died of breast cancer. Later in life, here is what St. Therese says of her mother and father:

God gave me a father and mother more worthy of heaven than of earth.

To raise five daughters – all nun – one of which is elevated to the status of saint – I have to believe St. Therese’s sentiment of her mother.

What holy parents! The fact that they worked together is astounding – and we will tackle that later this week. In the meantime: Blessed Zelie Martin, Pray for us.

Peace of Christ to you and yours,

Up Next: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
On Deck: St. Joan of Arc
In the Hole: St. Theresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)    Send article as PDF   


  1. Thank you for this series! I’ve always loved learning about the lives of the saints; plus as a working Catholic mom who is friends with many homeschooling Catholic moms (who I love and admire very much!), it is just nice to know that there are people out there I can relate to on this level. Sometimes it seems like I’m the only one out there! Plus now I have to write to my great aunt, because she is also a lacemaker and would love to hear about Blessed Zelie! She has been trying to teach me the craft since I was little, but I’m only successful with supervision.

    • I’ve also been friends with many homeschooling moms! They are such great examples of holy women, and I also knew there were holy women who had to work, for whatever reason. As you look to the saints, you will find so many that worked and thrived in their career, AND in their vocations. These women are leading me right now, as I am working outside of the home.

      I would LOVE to know how to make lace! You are blessed to have someone show you. Good luck with it!

      Peace of Christ to you!

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