July 12th is the day chosen as the feast of the parents of the ‘Little Flower’ as Louis and Zelie Martin are often known, even though they were saints in their own right, and raised at least one other saint, along with four possible saints.

There is no strict formula to being the parents of holy and flourishing children, but there are things one can do to ameliorate and expedite the process, as I tried to point out in some inchoate way in the reflection on the Benedict Option. All parents can really do is to try to become saints themselves, to provide the example, the exhortation and the environment in which sanctity may flourish – all that it means to be truly human and Christ-like – but one can never discount the mystery of free will; each person must choose that path of life which will lead to life, or, tragically, not.

Both Louis and Zelie originally wanted to enter religious life, but Louis was rejected from the novitiate of the Augustinians as he could not learn Latin (so have hope, those who struggle with declensions! You may be called to conjugate!). And Zelie was told she did not have a vocation to the Sisters of Charity, due to her recurring respiratory problems.

Praise the Lord

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