Louis Martin was the pattern of Fatherhood on which St. Thérèse built her now famous "Little Way of Spiritual Childhood". Louis was declared Venerable by the Church in 1994, along with his wife Zelie, because of his "heroic virtue". What kind of a father was he?
These reminiscences describe Louis Martin's marriage at age 34, his love and support for Zelie, his firm discipline yet tender affection for his children, his piety, observance of Sunday, business practices, selfless conduct, generosity to the poor, etc. Celine gives particular attention to the sufferings of her father's old age, foreseen in a vision by Thérèse, which included a period of time spent in a mental institution. She describes his beautiful death, as well as a sign received by Thérèse indicating that their father's soul had gone straight to Heaven.
Letters written by Louis gives additional insights into his character. Louis Martin's daughters considered themselves highly blessed to have had so good a father. Written by Celine Martin, St. Thérèse's Sister.
Celine Martin, also known as Sister Genevieve of the Holy Face, was born in 1869 at France as the seventh daughter of the Martin family. The sister of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Celine made known her own call to the religious life just two months after her hand was sought in marriage. Father Pichon, her spiritual director, afterwards authorized her desire for a vow of virginity, and she became a Carmelite nun in 1894. She was instrumental in spreading her sister's message by various means, but also found time to write two books of her own: The Mother of the Little Flower and The Father of the Little Flower. Four years after celebrating her Diamond Jubilee, Sister Celine Martin died on February 25, 1959.