Pope canonizes first married couple in modern times

A tapestry showing Louis and Zelie Martin, parents of St. Therese of Lisieux, hangs from a balcony of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015. Pope Francis canonized the Catholic Church's first married couple in modern times on Sunday, declaring the parents of the beloved St. Therese of Lisieux saints in their own right. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis has canonized the Catholic Church’s first married couple in modern times , declaring the parents of the beloved St. Therese of Lisieux saints in their own right.

Francis told followers gathered in St. Peter’s Square Sunday that the couple “practiced Christian service in the family, creating day by day an environment of faith and love which nurtured the vocations of their daughters.”

Francis is particularly devoted to the 19th century French Carmelite nun, fondly known as “The Little Flower,” who died at the age of 24 in 1897 and was later honored with the title “doctor of the church.”

Her parents were canonized at the start of the final week of his bishops’ meeting on families. The pope’s aim is to provide Catholic families with saintly role models who took care to educate their children in the faith.

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