Monday, October 3, 2016

St. Thérèse of Lisieux

St. Thérèse of Lisieux (+1897), the Little Flower, as she is known, was a French Carmelite who died at the tender age of 24.

St. Thérèse of Lisieux.

She grew up in a rather pious and holy family -- her parents, Louis and Zelie Martin, are blessed -- and at an early age sought, and received by dispensation from Pope Leo XIII, entry into the Order of the Carmelites.

Her autobiography, Story of a Soul, written under obedience, is a spiritual masterpiece.  Her's was the Little Way of holiness: to do everything, no matter how small, in love.  Every soul has its particular role, as flowers beautiful a garden.  There is a place for the more prominent and famous Rose, but also for the little flower that does their small part, but does it well and from deep love.  Here is the lesson of St. Thérèse: live well, and with love, attending to the duties of your particular state.  There is no better way to live if you wish to have, as the Little Flower did, a good death.

Her last words were: "My God, I love you."  She had earlier promised to "spend her heaven in doing good upon earth."  She was canonized in 1925 by Pope Pius XI, and named a Doctor of the Church in 1997AD by St. John Paul II.

Her feast in the Latin rite is traditionally on 3 October, today, as it is in the Melkite Rite, and it falls on 1 October in the reformed calendar.

On this day, I would particularly recommend this recent article on the Little Flower by Joe Sparks over at the Catholic Household site: Censoring St. Thérèse: 5 Things you didn't know...

The tomb of St. Thérèse at the Basilica in Lisieux.
["Theresienschräin" by Ernmuhl at lb.wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons]

For more on St. Thérèse of Lisieux you might note:
Catholic Saints Info: St. Therese of Lisieux

Pope John Paul II's Letter naming her a Doctor of the Church

The Website of the Basilica in Lisieux, France

Live well!

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