VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis will canonize 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.
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 declared doctor of the church.
On Sunday, he will canonize her parents, Louis and Zelie Martin, at the start of the final week of his big bishops' meeting on families. His aim is to provide Catholic families with saintly role models who took care to educate their children in the faith: The Martins bore nine children, only five of whom survived. All five became nuns, including the youngest, Therese, at 15.