Ordinary Time: July 12th
Friday of the Fourteenth Week of Ordinary Time; Sts. Louis and Zelia Martin
Old Calendar: St. John Gualbert, abbot; Sts. Nabor and Felix, martyrs; St. Veronica of the Veil (Hist)
Sts. Louis and Zelia Martin are best known as the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux (the Little Flower), but they are models of holiness in their own right. They are only the second married couple to be canonized.According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. John Gualbert, a native of Florence, Italy. One Good Friday, accompanied by armed servants, he met his brother's murderer, unarmed and alone; he was about to slay him when the murderer fell at his feet begging forgiveness for the love of Christ crucified. John was touched by grace, recalling our Lord's command to love one's enemies and embraced him as a brother. Soon afterwards he became a monk, and founded the new order of Vallombrosa under the Rule of St. Benedict. At this period simony and clerical immorality were rife in Italy. By his firmness and preaching St. John Gualbert successfully opposed these grave disorders. He died in 1073, having paved the way for the Gregorian reform. This is also the feast of Sts. Nabor and Felix, Roman martyrs whose bodies were taken from Rome to Milan. St. Ambrose preached their panegyric (a formal public speech delivered in high praise of a person, and generally high studied or undiscriminating eulogy) at the solemn translation of their relics. Historically it is the feast of St. Veronica of the Veil, the woman of Jerusalem who wiped the face of Christ while He was on the way to Calvary.
Sts. Louis and Zélia Martin
Louis Martin was born in Bordeaux in 1823 and baptised Louis-Joseph-Aloys-Stanislaus. He grew up in Alençon and after school learned clock-making eventually opening his own watch-making and jewellery business on the rue du Pont-Neuf in Alençon. As a young man he wished to become a priest but it was not to be. Prayer was an important part of his life. He liked reading, fishing and walking in the countryside. His travels included his well-known pilgrimage to Rome in 1887 with his daughters Thérèse and Céline on the occasion of which Thérèse - still not fifteen years old - asked Pope Leo XIII for permission to enter Carmel.
- Learn more about St. Louis and Zelia Martin here.
- Read The Holy Household of Louis and Zélie Martin and The miracle behind the canonization of the parents of St Therese of Lisieux
St. John Gualbert
Our saint was born of a noble Florentine family about the year 995. His father was arranging for him to become a soldier when Hugo, the only other child, was murdered by a relative. It was Good Friday, and Gualbert, accompanied by an armed escort, met the murderer in a narrow pass. There was no way to avoid one another. They met, and the murderer, with arms crossed on his breast, threw himself at Gualbert's feet. Moved by his plea for mercy and the remembrance of Christ's dying act of forgiveness, he spared the murderer's life and lifted him up as a brother.
- The life of St. John Gualbert offers a vivid and unusual example of heroic love of enemy. Let us seriously examine our conscience on this point. Let us recall that the Church places the kiss of peace before holy Communion; it is her way of teaching us that the Prince of Peace cannot come to our heart unless we are at peace with our fellowmen. Love of enemy is our Offertory gift; it is also the divine Gift received in return.
- Visit this website for more details about St. John Gualbert.
Sts. Nabor and Felix
The holy martyrs, Nabor and Felix, suffered in the persecution of Maximian. "They were Christian soldiers in the army of Emperor Maximian Hercules. Because of their Christian faith they were tried in Milan and beheaded in Lodi, Italy, (303 or 304). Their bodies were interred in Milan" (Martyrology). When Emperor Frederic Barbarossa captured Milan in the twelfth century, he gave the sacred relics to Reinald, archbishop of Cologne. Soon after, Reinald transferred the bodies of the holy martyrs to his episcopal see, where they are still venerated in one of the cathedral's magnificent chapels.
According to Tradition, when St. Veronica saw Jesus fall beneath the weight of the cross He carried to his pending crucifixion, she was so moved with pity she pushed through the crowd past the Roman Soldiers to reach Jesus. She used her veil to wipe the blood and sweat from His face. The soldiers forced her away from Jesus even as He peered at her with gratitude. She bundled her veil and did not look at it again until she returned home. When she finally unfolded the veil--history does not clarify exactly what kind of material the veil was made from--it was imprinted with an image of Christ's face.
- Visit this website for more about St. Veronica.