“The good God gave me a father and mother more worthy of Heaven than of earth.”
Written by St. Thérèse of Lisieux of her parents, Bl. Louis and Zélie Martin, who married on July 13, 1858 and whose feast is celebrated today, July 12.
The couple were married for nineteen years before Zélie’s death from breast cancer in 1877. They created a close, caring, family home, where love of God and neighbor were taught and practiced. It was in and by marriage that Louis and Zelie were to gain their own sanctification and set a heroic example for others. Their example illustrates how marriage can be a starting point of the journey to holiness made in the company of a spouse. Blessed Louis Martin and Blessed Zélie Martin were beatified as a couple in October 2008. It was only the second time in history that a married couple has been beatified.
Marie Azelia (known as Zélie) Guerin was born near Alencon France in 1831. This is an area of France renowned for its beautiful lace making. Zélie was an accomplished lace maker in the tradition and style of the region. After she married Louis Martin in 1858, they settled in Alencon and conducted their businesses where Louis took on the business management of Zélie’s lace making enterprise. An example of her beautiful lace can be seen here.
This is a simple idea to incorporate a touch of subtle lace effect into a cookie for the feast day. Using any sugar cookie recipe, just roll out the dough and cut out basic shaped cookies. Keep the dough a little thicker than you would normally when you cut the cookie as you will be pressing down lace and it will flatten slightly. Place a lace or crochet doily (or any piece of lace with large, deep design would work) over the cookie dough and roll gently but with enough pressure to press the design into the dough.
Remove lace, place cookies on baking sheet and bake until golden.
As mentioned any sugar cookie recipe (or even pre-prepared refrigerator brands) could be used. If you are looking for a good sugar cookie recipe, I like this one from a Midwest parish cookbook.
Sugar Cookie Dough Recipe
- 2 ¾ C. sifted flour
- 1 t. baking powder
- ½ t. salt
- ¾ C. butter or margarine
- 1 C. white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 t. vanilla
Put softened margarine in large bowl of mixer. Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat until mixture is light and fluffy. Mix in flour, baking powder, and salt. Blend until smooth. Chill at least one hour. Roll small amount of dough at a time on floured board. Cut into desired shapes. Put on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
While Bl. Zélie was specifically a lacemaker by trade, there are numerous saints who are listed as patrons for lacemaking and lacemakers. These cookies would be a fitting addition for a treat on any of their feast days.