During this week’s Wednesday General Audience, as the Sixth World Meeting of Families began in Mexico City, a group of French and Italian pilgrims gave Pope Benedict XVI a gift of relics of the beatified parents of St. Therese of Lisieux, Louis Guerin and Celie Martin.
According to the L’Osservatore Romano, before a crowd of more than 4,000, the Pope said the Martins, who saw five of their nine children enter the religious life, are “profound interpreters of the mystery of the love of Christ.”
The group of pilgrims was led by Msgr. Jean-Claude Boulanger, Msgr. Bernard Lagoutte, rector of the Shrine of Lisieux and Discalced Carmelite Father Antonio Sangalli, vice postulator of the Martin’s cause of canonization.
According to the L’Osservatore Romano, Pietro Schiliro and his family were also present at the audience. Pietro’s underdeveloped lungs were cured in 2002 through the intercession of the parents of St. Therese, and his cure proved to be the miracle that paved the way for their beatification.
The reliquary the Pope was given is made of silver with golden borders and contains two relics of the Martins joined together with a wedding ring.
The urn that contains the remains of the Martins and that will be brought to different places in Italy and Spain before being taken back to France is decorated with two roses representing both of them and nine lilies representing their nine children.