St. Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897), Doctor of the Church
Feast Day – October 1st
Missionaries, Aviators and Patron of Florists
There are actual pictures of Therese because she lived in our time! Most churches have a statue of her holding roses.
Marie-Francoise-Therese Martin was born on January 2, 1873, in Alencon, Normandy. She was the ninth and last child of Louis and Zele Martin, a deeply religious couple.They lost two girls and two boys to infant deaths, so the family consisted of five girls. Upon her mothers death the family moved to Lisieux, Normandy. On December 25, 1886 Therese had a religious experience that she described as conversion. In Lisieux there is a Carmelite convent for cloistered nuns and one by one each of her sisters entered the cloister.
Therese was left to care for her father who suffered his first stroke.
At the age of fifteen, Therese wanted to enter Carmel. She first met with the Bishop, and then went to Rome to beg the Pope. When she went to meet the pope, she wore her hair up to appear older than she was. During a general audience with Pope Leo XIII,she asked him to allow her to enter at 15, but the Pope said: “Well, my child, do what the superiors decide.”
She entered Carmel on April 9th, 1888. On September 8, 1890, she took her vows and was given the name Sister Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face.
Therese lived the ordinary life at Carmel in an extraordinary way her little way as she would call it. The little way was a life of kindness and charity to all. When she became ill with influenza in 1894, her sisters asked her to write about her life – they knew she was near death. Therese was so sure of Gods love for her, she called herself Gods Little Flower and promised to send a shower of roses after her death.
She died on September 30, 1897. In 1898, her sisters published her story, The Story of a Soul. She was canonized a Saint in 1925.
In 1997 Therese was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope John Paul II.
Quotes from St. Therese of Lisieux:
Love alone attracts me.
I will spend my heaven doing good upon the earth.
Do ordinary things in an extraordinary way.
Books to read:
The Journey of a Soul – Autobiography
St. Therese of Lisieux ~ Her Last Conversations by John Clarke
Maurice and Therese by Rev. Patrick Ahern
Therese Movie – Director – Leonardo Defilippis
The Miracle of St. Therese – Director – Andre Haquet
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