(Doctor of the Church)
Ω Born in France, the youngest of nine children. Four of her siblings died before coming to adulthood.
Ω Her mother died when she was 5, so they moved so that her father could be helped to raise his family by an aunt and her two older sisters.
Ω Two of her sisters became cloistered Carmelite nuns, something she also wanted to do. At first, she was denied because of her youth (15 years old); after attending an audience with the Pope inRomeand offering her trial for greater patience, she was admitted despite her young age. Because of her tremendous wisdom, she quickly became the mistress of novices within a very short period.
Ω She took to heart “Love is repaid by love alone,” fromSaint Johnof the Cross, trying to make acts of love in the simplest ways, even if that meant not complaining if inconvenienced for the smallest things or just smiling.
Ω Her main duty was to pray for priests. She also prayed for a young woman who apostatized and for missionaries all over the world, some of whom she communicated through letters with. She was not allowed to fast or to mortify her flesh in any way, so she decided that she would mortify her spirit instead.
Ω Her father had paralytic seizures for the next three years which greatly affected his mind. Another one of her sisters cared for him until he died, then she joined her three sisters at the convent.
Ω Therese soon had to give up her position as mistress because she contracted tuberculosis, which brought about severe suffering to the point where she could not receive Communion since she coughed up blood so frequently.
Ω She had mystical experiences, which her superior, who happened to be one of her older sisters, had her write down. It is called Story of A Soul, her autobiography.
Ω She is known as “the Little Flower” and “the Saint of the Little Way” one of the Saints that Mother Teresa so admired and tried to imitate.
Ω Her intercessions are often marked with roses.
Some quotes from St. Therese:
“Love attracts love, mine rushes forth unto Thee, it would fain fill up the abyss which attracts it; but alas! it is not even as one drop of dew lost in the Ocean. To love Thee as Thou lovest me I must borrow Thy very Love—then only, can I find rest.” –Ch.11, Story of A Soul
“Here on earth, where all changes, one sole thing changes not, the King of Heaven’s mode of acting as regards His friends. Ever since He uplifted the standard of the Cross, it is in its shadow that all must fight and gain the victory.” –Letter 7 to her missionary brothers
see “Authentic Femininity, Lived” for references