St. Therese of the Infant Jesus

Marie-Francoise-Therese Martin, known as “The Little Flower of Jesus,” was born at Alençon. France, on January 2nd, 1873. Reared in a home of comfort and surrounded by refinements that would have spoiled an ordinary child, Teresa’s intelligence had an early dawning which enabled her to comprehend the Divine Goodness far in advance of her tender years. Our Lord visited upon the child a severe trial—a strange malady from which there seemed no recovery. Her implicit confidence in God, however, overcame her infirmity and she progressed rapidly toward sanctity.

Teresa adopted flowers as the symbol of her love for her Divine Saviour and offered her practices in virtue, sacrifice, and mortification as flowers at the feet of Jesus.

At fifteen she entered the Carmelite Convent at Lisieux, France, where she distinguished herself by punctual observance of the rule, burning love for God and wonderful trust in Him.
Before she died, this “lily of delicious perfume”—as Pope Pius X. called her—revealed to the superiors her life story in pages of rarest beauty.

She died in the odor of sanctity on September 30th, 1897, at the age of 24. Since her death countless graces have been attributed to her intercession. Pope Benedict XV. in 1921 opened the way for the process of her beatification and she was declared Blessed by Pope Pius XI. on April 29, 1923, and was canonized on May 17, 1925.

– Alban Butler Lives of the Saints

Papal General Audience

Today I would like to talk to you about St Thérèse of Lisieux, Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face, who lived in this world for only 24 years, at the end of the 19th century, leading a very simple and hidden life but who, after her death and the publication of her writings, became one of the best-known and best-loved saints. “Little Thérèse” has never stopped helping the simplest souls, the little, the poor and the suffering who pray to her. However, she has also illumined the whole Church with her profound spiritual doctrine to the point that Venerable Pope John Paul II chose, in 1997, to give her the title “Doctor of the Church”, in addition to that of Patroness of Missions, which Pius XI had already attributed to her in 1939. My beloved Predecessor described her as an “expert in the scientia amoris” (Novo Millennio Ineunte, n. 42). Thérèse expressed this science, in which she saw the whole truth of the faith shine out in love, mainly in the story of her life, published a year after her death with the title The Story of a Soul. The book immediately met with enormous success, it was translated into many languages and disseminated throughout the world. Read More…