Lough Derg will host Relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux, and her parents Sts Louis and Zélie Martin from Friday 5th July (afternoon) until Sunday 7th July (morning) 2019.
It was an unforgettable experience for those who were there overnight on 21/22 July 2001 when the major relic of St Thérèse came to Lough Derg. It is a privilege for us to once again host a relic of this great Carmelite saint, St Thérèse, and for the first time together with those of her parents St Louis and Zélie Martin.
Devotion during the weekend will be led by Clogher priest and member of the third order Carmelites, Fr Owen Gorman. Fr Owen has a great devotion to St Thérèse from his first days in seminary when he received a gift of the autobiography of St Thérèse from the Carmelites.
Fr Owen said of his first reading of the life of St Thérèse, “I was just really impressed by the life and spirituality of St Thérèse who died in Lisieux in 1896. Although she was only 24 years when she died, she lived an extraordinary life of beautiful ordinariness. In fact you could maybe say she was extraordinarily ordinary and this was really the secret to her spirituality. She did all the little bits and pieces of the day, her duties, her prayers with such intense and great love and trust in God. It is a wonderful model for us all.”
Louis and Zélie Martin were the Catholic Church’s first married couple in modern times to be canonised when in 2015 Pope Francis declared the parents of St Thérèse of Lisieux saints in their own right.
Fr Owen shares a little of their story, “St Thérèse’s parents Louis and Zélie Martin were an extraordinary beautiful Catholic couple who really lived their faith with great joy and intensity and who passed this faith on to their children. Zélie, Thérèse’s mother, was a lace maker and Louis her father was a watch maker. They had a beautiful marriage and were devoted to each other but they had their crosses. Zélie died sadly of cancer at 46 years. Louis then, as a widowed parent, had to bring up all his daughters on his own and all of them went off to become nuns so he gave up his daughters one by one, and towards the end of his life he suffered his own illness. This was a family who really had their own sufferings as all families do, as all marriages do, and yet through that they did not allow those experiences to break them; really through those crosses they came closer to the love of God through Christ and drew strength from their faith.”
Fr Owen concluded, “The presence of the relics on Lough Derg from 5th – 7th July is an opportunity for us to come and to pray for marriages, to pray for family members and for children, to ask God’s help that marital and family life may receive the strength from God and that God will hear our prayers for all of our loved ones as we make our pilgrimage of faith through this world and as pilgrims on Lough Derg.”
The relics of Sts Thérèse, Louis and Zélie Martin will be on Lough Derg from Fri 5th until the morning of Sunday 7th July 2019. Pilgrims who arrive for their Three Day Pilgrimage on Thursday 4th, Friday 5th or Saturday 6th July will have an opportunity of devotion with the relics.
For further information contact Lough Derg on 071 9861518 or firstname.lastname@example.org