Cindy Wooden of CNS has the story: "Pope Benedict XVI has approved the beatification of Louis and Marie Zelie Guerin Martin, the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux. The couple will be beatified Oct. 19, World Mission Sunday, during a Mass in the Basilica of St. Therese in Lisieux, France, the Vatican announced Aug. 19.....The Martins were declared venerable, one of the first steps in the sainthood process, in 1994. But despite the active encouragement of Pope John Paul II to move the cause forward, the miracle needed for their beatification was not approved by the Vatican until early July. Louis lived 1823-1894 and his wife lived 1831-1877. They had nine children, five of whom joined religious orders."
And some thoughts from a big fan of the Little Flower:
The beatification of Louis and Zelie has been celebrated by those who have been (rightly) looking for more examples of saintly married couples. Ironically--for those looking for examples of married saints--the two had initially thought of living together as "brother and sister," hoping to imitate the celibate love of Mary and Joseph. Happily, a confessor later persuaded them to enjoy a more conventional marriage. On the other hand, their canonization process has also been critiqued by those who wonder if the two are being honored for their own holiness (which is evident) or because they were the parents of Therese. (Though one may raise the same question of St. Monica, for example.) Zelie died at a young age, and in later years Louis seems to have suffered some form of mental illness or dementia, a source of unending pain to his daughters, especially Therese who wrote about her father extensively in her journals. A fine summary of their lives, written by a Carmelite scholar can be found here.
James Martin, S.J. (no relation!)