Thursday 12 October 2023

Louise and Zélie The Holy Parents of Saint Thérèse - GinaMarie Tennant - Vision Book

Louise and Zélie The Holy Parents of Saint Thérèse
GinaMarie Tennant
GinaMarie Tennant (Illustrator)
ISBN 9781621643715
eISBN 9781642291506

Louise and Zélie The Holy Parents of Saint Thérèse - GinaMarie Tennant - Vision Book

Reading this marks the twelfth work I have read in the Vision Books for Young Readers Series, 9 in the currently in print books from Ignatius Press and three of the older out of print volumes. This one has been out for a few years, and I have had the eBook for a while, but had not got around to reading it yet. It is part of Ignatius’s expansion upon the original titles called New Vision Books. In fact it was the second of what is now six books expanding the original series. A few years back I did some research on the Vision Books for Young Readers and from the books I have read can state that they are great reads for teens, young adults and adults. This was another excellent read and I understand that Ignatius has several other titles in the work to expand the series. But let us return to this specific volume. The description of the book is:

“This newest book in the very popular Vision Books series of saint's lives for young people presents the inspiring story of the first married couple ever canonized together in the Church, Louis and Zelie Martin, who lived in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It tells about their beautiful family of nine children, that includes the most popular saint of modern times, St. Therese of Lisieux. 

Louis, a successful watchmaker, was a happy bachelor and intended to remain one. Zélie, who had wanted to become a religious sister, became an expert lace maker and started her own company. Then one day they met, and everything changed for them. They fell in love, married, and raised a large and very happy family. 

While their main focus and devotion was on their marriage, children, and their Catholic faith, Louis and Zelie were able to continue their professions as a watchmaker and lace maker. The Martin household was full of love and joy, even amidst many sorrows and challenges, and they always showed great charity toward their neighbor and anyone in need. 

The secret to their happiness was an unfailing love made possible by their boundless faith in God. All the challenges the Martins faced, great and small, were met with a profound trust in Divine Providence.”

And the author bio states:

“GinaMarie Tennant is a church organist, music teacher, and an artist.  Louis and Zélie:  the Holy Parents of Saint Thérèse was her first book, and An American Little Flower: Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich is her second.  She lives in Bethesda, Maryland.”

GinaMarie is not only the author but illustrator of the two volumes I have read by her in the series to date. The chapters in the book are:

1. A Soldier’s Son
2. Zélie and her Mother
3. Louis’ Journeys
4. Trials and Lace
5. The Bridge of Saint Leonard
6. Zélie’s Dolls
7. Thorns in the Rose Garden
8. War!
9. Invaders
10. The Littlest Flower
11. Prickly Problems
12. Lourdes
13. Lisieux
14. Louis’ Offerings
Author’s Note

I have over the years read a number of volumes about Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. Both books drawn from her writings  and others writings about her. So I was aware of some of the broad strokes of this story of her parents, but nowhere near the details. It was fascinating to read this story, of this couple, their life, love, struggles and most importantly their deep faith. Of all that they went through and yet continued to believe, pray and hope. 

This is a story about real parents who faced more than most of us will face. The loss of multiple children, illness, and war. And much, much more. And yet, it is a story that will encourage, challenge and inspire. 

The story is very well written. It was wonderful to read the biography of the couple and how their love and devotion help each of them to grow in holiness. It is deeply moving. It will inspire and challenge readers of all ages. I plan on reading all the books in this series that are in print and as many of the out of print that I can track down. This is a great book in a wonderful series. My only complaint is that only about a third of the books are available in digital formats, with my dual form of dyslexia and my son’s eye tracking issues eBooks are our preferred format. I have had the eBook of this one for a few years; it took me a while to get around to reading it. These books are written for a Middle Grade Readers, Teens and Young Adults in mind, but this one and the others I have read are great for readers of all ages. 

I can highly recommend this book and series for any home, church, or school library. An excellent volume in an amazing series!  

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2023 Catholic Reading Plan

Books in the Vision Books Saints Biographies:
Bernadette, Our Lady's Little Servant 
The Cure of Ars 
Edmund Campion 
Florence Nightingale's Nuns 
Fr. Marquette and the Great Rivers 
Francis and Clare, Saints of Assisi 
Kateri Tekakwitha 
Maria von Trapp and Her Musical Family 
Mother Cabrini, Missionary to the World 
Mother Seton and the Sisters of Charity 
Saint Anthony and the Christ Child 
Saint Benedict 
Saint Catherine Laboure and the Miraculous Medal 
Saint Dominic and the Rosary 
Saint Elizabeth's Three Crowns 
Saint Francis of the Seven Seas 
Saint Helena and the True Cross 
Saint Ignatius and the Company of Jesus 
Saint Isaac and the Indians 
Saint John Bosco 
Saint Katherine Drexel 
Saint Louis and the Last Crusade 
Saint Philip of the Joyous Heart 
Saint Therese and the Roses 
Saint Thomas Aquinas and the Preaching Beggars 
Saint Thomas More of London 
Vincent De Paul: Saint of Charity 

Out of Print books in the Series:
Brother Andre of Montreal 
Catholic Campuses, Stories of American Catholic Colleges 
Champions in Sports and Spirit 
Children Welcome: Villages for Boys and Girls 
Christmas and the Saints 
Columbus and the New World 
Dear Philippine: Mission of Mother Duchesne 
Edel Quinn: Beneath the Southern Cross 
Father Kino, Priest to the Pimas 
Frances Warde and the First Sisters of Mercy 
Good Pope John b
Governor Al Smith 
In American Vineyards, Religious Orders in the United States 
Irish Saints 
John Carroll Bishop and Patriot
John Neumann, The Children's Bishop 
Kit Carson of the Old West 
Lydia Longley, the First American Nun 
Marguerite Bourgeoys, Pioneer Teacher 
Martin de Porres, Saint of the New World 
Modern Crusaders 
More Champions in Sports and Spirit 
Mother Barat's Vineyard 
My Eskimos: A Priest in the Artic 
Peter and Paul: The Rock and the Sword 
Peter Claver, Saint Among Slaves
Pope Pius XII, the World's Shepherd 
Rose Hawthorne: The Pilgramage of Nathaniel's Daughter 
Saints of the Byzantine World 
Sarah Peter: The Dream and the Harvest 
St. Augustine and His Search for Faith 
St. Francis de Sales 
St. Gregory the Great, Consul of God 
St. Jerome and the Bible 
St. Margaret Mary, Apostle of the Sacred Heart 
The Bible Story, The Promised Lord and His Coming 
The Cross in the West 
The Ursulines, Nuns of Adventure 
When Saints Were Young 

An American Little Flower Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich - GinaMarie Tennant - Vision Book

Louise and Zélie The Holy Parents of Saint Thérèse - GinaMarie Tennant - Vision Book

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