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October 1

St Therese of Lisieux

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

Nun, Virgin, Doctor of the Church

(1873 – 1897)

“Love proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? Great deeds are forbidden me. The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions for love.

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

Saint’s Life Story

Her Early Life 

Marie Francoise Martin was born in January 2, 1873 in Alecon, France, the youngest of nine children, to Louise Martin, a watchmaker, and Zelie Guerin. Her mother died when she was five and the family moved to Lisieux, where she was raised by her two older sisters and an aunt.

Asked Pope to Be a Nun

Two of her sisters became Carmelite nuns and she resolved to emulate them. In November 1887, Thérèse went on pilgrimage to Rome with her father and her sister Céline. The culminating moment for her was the audience with Pope Leo XIII, whom she asked for permission to enter the Carmel of Lisieux when she was only just 15. A year later her wish was granted. She became a Carmelite, “to save souls and to pray for priests”.

Took Her Vows and Name Therese of the Child Jesus

She professed her vows in 1890, became a Discalced Carmelite nun, and took the religious name Therese of the Child Jesus. Therese had tuberculosis and bore her illness with great patience and fortitude. She devoted herself to prayer and meditations and served as a mistress of novices. By order of the prioress, Mother Agnes (who was her sister Pauline), she began in 1894 to write the story of her childhood.

Wrote About Her Autobiography

In 1897, Therese was ordered by the new prioress, Mother Marie de Gonzague, to write about her life in th e convent, including her mystical experiences.  Both her childhood and convent life were combined into her book called The Story of a Soul, which is one the most widely read modern spiritual autobiographies. Thérèse died on the evening of 30 September 1897 of tuberculosis, saying the simple words, “My God, I love you!”, looking at the Crucifix she held tightly in her hands.  She quickly attracted a following as “the Little Flower” and “saint of the little way”.  Therese expressed in child-like simplicity and trust, and a deep understanding of the Cross her basic principles of her “little way.”

Pope Pius XI declared her a Patroness of Missions in 1939. In addition, she is considered a Patroness of France. She was declared of Doctor of the Church by Pope John Paul II in 1997.

Beatified:          April 29, 1923 by Pope Pius XI

Canonized:      May 17, 1925 by Pope Pius XI

Feast Day:        October 1

Patron Saint:   Australia; Diocese of Fairbanks, Alaska; Diocese of Fresno, California; Diocese of Juneau, Alaska; Diocese of Pueblo, Colorado; Foreign Missions; France; Russia; Tuberculosis

Source:

Reflection

Saint Therese of Lisieux is among the Church’s most important and wise spiritual teachers. We often think that only great deeds and great sacrifices are magnificent examples of our Christian faith. But Saint Therese teaches that, whatever our lot in life, every single deed and every single moment is an opportunity to love God and others. And in these small moments we are, in fact, carrying out acts of faith that are just as great and powerful as those of the heroic saints about whom we read. A normal and, by most accounts, uneventful life can, Saint Therese teaches, be a life of profound and exceptional holiness and union with God.

What single deed will you do today to carry out your love of God and love of your neighbor?

Source: Adapted from Saint Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897) | Saint Mary’s Press (smp.org)

Prayers

St Thérèse of Lisieux, your Little Way is ultimately the Way of the Cross walked in each moment of the day united to Christ for the sake of others. This requires a constant dying-to-self in small and ever greater areas of our lives as we progress on the path. St. Therese was led to bigger and bigger sacrifices as she progressed along the path towards the end of her life. May we not worry about the past or the future and wake up excited about the present. May we be willing do whatever small things we can and do not regret when we cannot do larger things. May we not rely on ourselves, but always trust in God. May we make all of these sacrifices in our life through the grace, wisdom and strength of God with great effort in each moment of each day of our life.

St Therese of Lisieux, pray for us. Amen.

Saint Links 

Aleteia – Therese of Lisieux: Is the Little Flower the most dangerous of saints?

All Saints & Martyrs – Therese of Lisieux Quotes About Eucharist

AnaStpaul – St Thérèse of Lisieux OCD (1873 – 1897)

Catholic Culture – Saint Theresa of Lisieux

Catholic Exchange – St. Thérèse Of Lisieux And The Little Way Of Piety

Catholic Fire – St. Therese of Lisieux, Friend and Intercessor

Catholic Ireland – Oct 1 – St Thérèse of Lisieux 3. priestly vocation and doctor of the Church

Catholic News Agency – St. Therese of the Child Jesus Feast Day: Oct 01

CatholicSaints.Info – Saint Theresa of Lisieux

Cradio – St Therese of Lisieux

Independent Catholic News – St Therese of Lisieux

Franciscan Media – Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

Loyola Press – Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus (of Lisieux) Feast Day October 1

My Catholic Life – St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Religious

Newman Ministry – Saint Therese of Child Jesus

Saints, Feasts, and Family – Saint Thérèse of Lisieux’s Story

Saint Mary’s Press – Saint Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897)

Saint Resources – Therese of Lisieux

Society of the Little Flower – St Therese of Lisieux

uCatholic – Saint Therese of Lisieux

We Dare To Say – What is the Little Way of St. Thérèse of Lisieux?

Wikipedia – Thérèse of Lisieux

Video Link

St. Therese of Lisieux – YouTube (Catholic Online)