SaintTherese3.jpg (72947 bytes)SAINT THÉRÈSE OF LISIEUX
THE LITTLE FLOWER

1873-1897

FEAST DAY:  OCTOBER 1ST

The photo is a picture of the Little Flower as a Novice at the age of 16.

     Saint Thérèse was born on January 2, 1873 to her parents, her father, Louis Martin, a watchmaker of Alencon, and her mother Azélie-Marie Guérin.  Her parents were devout Catholics and had five daughters.  She had a happy childhood and was surrounded with love from  her family members.  Her mother died  in 1877 when Thérèse was only five years of age. The father became greatly responsible for his five daughters:  Celine, Mary, Leonie, Pauline and Thérèse. The father moved his family to Lisieux where with the help of the children's aunt, raised the family.  Mary, the eldest daughter, helped her father to run the household and Pauline saw to the religious instruction of her sisters. 

      Her sister, Pauline eventually entered the Carmelite order to become a nun and later her sister Mary also entered the Carmelite order.  Thérèse also tried to enter the Carmelite order, but was turned down by the Carmelite order and by the bishop.  Thérèse went on a pilgrimage to Rome and had a chance to meet the Pope.  She asked Pope Leo XIII to waive the age restriction to allow her to become a Carmelite nun.  She was only 15 years of age.  The Pope agreed with the Carmelite age restriction and turned her down, but told her if it was God's will for her to enter, she would.  In that same year, the local bishop gave Thérèse permission to enter the Carmelite order where her two sisters were located.  She entered the order on April 9, 1988 at the age of 15.  She made her profession in 1890 and was given the name Thérèse of the Child Jesus. 

     She served as a novice for a while, but came down with tuberculosis, which eventually took her life.  As a Carmelite nun she prayed hard for the foreign missionaries and for priests in general.  She prayed for the salvation of  a man named, Pranzini,  who had murdered two women and a girl in Paris.  He had no desire of repentance, but Saint Thérèse's prayers touched Heaven and the on his way to the guillotine for execution, he asked to kiss the crucifix, which he kissed three times.  It is believed that her prayers helped bring about this murderer's salvation.

     She entered the Carmelite house at the age of 15 and died from tuberculosis, at the age of 24.  In those short years, Our Lord, allowed her soul, to suffer the "Dark Night of the Soul" which is a very extreme purification of the soul which prepares a soul for their entrance into Heaven.  This included great spiritual aridity and horrible spiritual attacks from demons.  She said before she died that "after my death I will let fall a shower of roses," and "I will spend my Heaven doing good upon the earth."  Saint Thérèse was canonized (made a saint) in 1925 by Pope Pius XI and was declared patroness of foreign missions with St. Francis Xavier in 1927.  She was declared Protectoress of France with Saint Joan of Arc by Pope Pius XIII.  In 1997, Pope John Paul II declared Saint Thérèse to be a Doctor of the Church.

 

MORE ON SAINT  THÉRÈSE: 

Autobiography of Saint Therese of Lisieux(PDF Format).

The Life of the Little Flower, book about St. Therese written by Rev. Albert M. Hutting.

Litany of Saint Therese:  Prayer litany to Saint Therese.

SAINT THERESE, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH