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St. Thérèse of Lisieux

St. Thérèse of Lisieux by Br. Arturo Olivas, OFS

Artist Narrative:

Santa Teresa was born in 1873 to a pious French middleclass family. She entered the Carmelite Order at the early age of 15 and lived her short life in the relative obscurity of her cloister performing routine duties assigned to her. Teresa cultivated a rich spiritual life by cheerfully dedicating menial tasks, religious obedience, and physical suffering to the salvation of souls. She called this her “little way.” Her superiors ordered Teresa to write her autobiography which continues to be an international best-seller. When she died of tuberculosis at the age of 24 Teresa proclaimed she would spend her heaven doing good on earth.

In sacred art Teresa is shown in the brown and white habit of a Carmelite nun. She often holds a crucifix and roses in her hands. She is one of the female doctors of the Church, a patron of France, pilots, and missions.

Her feast day is October 1.

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Therese was born to a middle-class French family. Her father, Louis, was a watchmaker, her mother, who died of cancer when Therese was 4, was a lace maker, and both have been declared Venerable by the Church. She was cured from an illness at age eight when a statue of the Blessed Virgin smiled at her. She became a Carmelite nun at age 15.

Therese defined her path to God and holiness as "The Little Way," which consisted of love and trust in God. At the direction of her spiritual director, and against her wishes, she dictated her famed autobiography Story of a Soul. There are many miracles attributed to her. She was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1997 by Pope John Paul II.

"For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy."
—Saint Therese of Lisieux

Born: January 2, 1873 at Alcon, Normandy, France

Died: September 30, 1897 at Lisieux, France of tuberculosis

Canonized: May 17, 1925 by Pope Pius XI

Also known as: Therese of the Child Jesus, the Little Flower, the Little Flower of Jesus

Readings:

What beauty? I don't see my beauty at all; I see only the graces I've received from God. You always misunderstand me; you don't know, then, that I'm only a little seedling, a little almond.
—Saint Therese of Lisieux

You know well enough that Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them.
—Saint Therese of Lisieux