Saturday, October 1, 2005
St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Memorial (1969 Calendar): October 1
Double (1955 Calendar): October 3

Known as the Saint of the Little Flower as well as the greatest saint of modern times, St. Thérèse of Lisieux (also called St. Therese of the Child Jesus) died at a young age in a monastery but lived her short life with great love. She was born on January 2, 1873, to a watchmaker and a lace maker. Her mother, the lacemaker, died when Thérèse was only 4 years old. Both of her parents were canonized in 2015.

St. Thérèse became a Carmelite nun at age 15. She described her simple path to sanctification and spirituality as "The Little Way". Read her autobiography, Story of a Soul, as well as Maurice and Therese, a book of letters between St. Thérèse and a struggling young priest. At 7pm on Thursday, September 30, 1897, St. Thérèse died of tuberculosis.

She is the patron saint of France, missionaries, florists, and the concerns of children to name a few. She has been called the greatest saint of modern times. There are nearly a countless number of people claiming her intercession in their lives including Mother Angelica, founder of EWTN. Countless numbers of miracles have been attributed to her. After all, Thérèse said that she wished to spend her entire time in Heaven by doing good on earth.
"Our Lord does not come down from Heaven every day to lie in a golden ciborium. He comes to find another heaven which is infinitely dearer to him - the heaven of our souls, created in His Image, the living temples of the Adorable Trinity." --Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
For a virtual tour of the National Shrine of St. Therese of Lisieux, please click here.

Traditional Matins Reading:

Teresa of the Child Jesus was bom at Alençon, in France, of respectable parents noted for their singular and constant piety. She was imbued with the grace of the divine Spirit from earliest childhood and desired to lead the religious life. She made an earnest promise that she would deny God nothing which He seemed to ask of her, and strove to observe it faithfully until death. She lost her mother when she was only five years old and committed herself wholly to divine providence, under the watchful care of her affectionate father and her elder sisters. Under such teachers Teresa exulted as a giant to run the way of perfection. At the age of nine, she was placed in the school of the Benedictine nuns at Lisieux, where she was remarkable for her progress in the knowledge of divine things. In her tenth year she suffered from a serious and mysterious illness, from which, as she herself relates, she was delivered by the Blessed Virgin, who appeared to her smiling, during a novena which she made to her under the title of our Lady of Victories. Then, filled with an gelie fervour, she began to prepare herself with all care for that sacred banquet “wherein Christ is received.”

After her first communion she felt an insatiable hunger for this heavenly food and, as if by inspiration, besought Jesus to turn all earthly consolation to bitterness for her. She was filled with a tender and burning love for Christ and the Church, and desired with all her heart to enter the Order of Discalced Carmelites, in order by self-abnegation and self-sacrifice to help priests, missionaries, and the whole Church, and to gain innumerable souls for Jesus Christ: all which, when at the point of death, she promised that she would obtain from God. Her extreme youth was the source of many difficulties for her entrance into religion, but she overcame them by her incredible fortitude of soul, and entered the Carmel of Lisieux at the age of fifteen. God disposed the heart of Teresa in a wonderful manner to ascend to Him by steps, and, imitating the hidden life of the Virgin Mary, she brought forth, like a well-watered garden, the flowers of all virtues, particularly charity towards God and her neighbour.

She read in the Holy Scripture the words: “Whosoever is a little one, let him come to me,” and desiring to please the Most High, determined to be a little one in spirit, and thus committed herself with childlike confidence to God as to a most loving Father. This path of spiritual childhood, according to the Gospel, she taught to others, especially the novices, whose training in the religious virtues she undertook out of obedience; and thus she set the way of evangelical simplicity before a world full of pride and of the love of vanities. Her heavenly Spouse inspired her with the desire of suffering in soul and body. Moreover, seeing that the love of God was almost everywhere neglected, she was filled with great grief, and two years before her death offered herself as a victim to the love of the merciful God. Then, as she herself relates, she was wounded by a flame of heavenly fire. At last, consumed by charity, rapt in ecstasy, and murmuring with all fervour the words: "My God, I love thee," she passed to her heavenly Spouse on September 30, 1897, at the age of twenty four. When dying she promised that she would let fall a ceaseless shower of roses upon the earth, which promise she has actually fulfilled since her entrance into heaven, and continues still to fulfil by countless miracles. Therefore, Pope Pius XI enrolled her in the catalogue of blessed virgins on April 29, 1923, and two years later, after more wonderful miracles, proceeded on the sixteenth of the kalends of June (May 17), to her solemn canonization.

Dear Little Flower of Lisieux, how wonderful was the short life you led. Though cloistered, you went far and wide through fervent prayers and great sufferings. You obtained from God untold helps and graces for his evangelists. Help all missionaries in their work and teach all of us to spread Christianity in our own neighborhoods and family circles. Amen.

O Little Flower of Jesus, ever consoling troubled souls with heavenly graces, in your unfailing intercession I place my trust. From the Heart of Our Blessed Savior petition these blessing of which I stand in greatest need (mention here). Shower upon me your promised roses of virtue and grace, dear Saint Therese, so that swiftly advancing in sanctity and in perfect love of neighbor, I may someday receive the crown of eternal life. Amen.

O Lord, Who has said: Unless you become as little children you shall not enter into the Kingdom of heaven: grant unto us, we beseech Thee, so to follow in humility and simplicity of heart the footsteps of Saint Teresa, the Virgin, that we may obtain everlasting rewards: Who livest and reignest.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

4 comment(s):

del_button October 1, 2005 at 3:59 PM
Anonymous said...

I don't know why but I hear more confirmed and answered intercessions from St. Therese than I hear from any other saint...

del_button July 28, 2008 at 4:19 PM
Anonymous said...

She was such a sweet saint, St. Therese and has done many wonderful things for me. My daughter, Katie, had many qualities like her.
Mary Jane Hurley Brant, M.S.,CGP

del_button September 30, 2009 at 8:30 PM
Anonymous said...

Thank you Matthew for this webpage. It is a good thing you are doing.

del_button August 28, 2013 at 11:33 AM
Yaw Lee said...

I have read her autobiography, Story of a Soul. It is indeed beautiful! Her knowledge of God is her own, based on her personal experience with Him. I'm blessed to have witnessed it.

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