Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Comfort for the Grieving Mother from Another Place and Time

I am deeply saddened by the sorrow which has just come to you; it is indeed a real trial for you...May Our Lord grant you resignation to His holy Will!  Your dear little child is with God; he is looking down on you and loving you; and one day, you will possess him again.  This is a great consolation that I have experienced myself, and which I still feel. 

When I had to close the eyes of my dear children and bury them, I felt deep sorrow, but I was always resigned to it.  I did not regret the pains and the sorrows which I had endured for them.  Many persons said to me: "It would have been better for you if you had never had them."  I could not bear that kind of talk.  I do not think that the sorrows and the troubles endured could possibly be compared with the eternal happiness of my children with God.  Besides, they are not lost to me forever; life is short and filled with crosses, and we shall find them again in Heaven.
France, 1870.  From a letter written by Bl. Zelie Martin, mother of St. Therese of Lisieux, to comfort her sister-in-law after she experienced the loss of a child at birth.  Bl. Zelie Martin, and her husband Bl. Louis Martin, lost three children in the first year of life and another at age five.   

I've been working on slowly moving some of my miscarriage posts from my old blog, Messy Wife, Blessed Wife, and this is one of my favorites. This quote was found in (affiliate link) The Mother of the Little Flower: Zelie Martin (1831-1877), a book I can't recommend enough for any mother. With the upcoming canonization of Bl. Zelie Martin, I'm hoping that more resources about the life of this amazing mother will become available. As well as being a natural advocate for mothers who have lost children, she ran her own business, was unable to breastfeed her babies, and had a few very difficult children (St. Therese among them) so she seems like the perfect patron for working mothers, breastfeeding issues, and parents of strong-willed children. Bl. Zelie Martin, pray for us!


  1. Ah, I LOVE this! And I had no idea about her breastfeeding issues and that she's about to be canonized. Thanks for the book recommendation, totally adding it to my reading list!

    1. I think she's going to be canonized in the fall - October? And in her day, the only alternative to breastfeeding was to send her babies away to live with wet nurses until they were weaned. I can't imagine how hard that was on a mother to have their babies living with someone else! So sad...

  2. I love the book as well! Their whole family is a great role model!

  3. For many more resources about the Martin family, please visit my Web site at http://louisandzeliemartin.org