Virgin and Doctor of the Church
January 2, 1873
September 30, 1897 (aged 24)
May 17, 1925 by Pope Pius XI
Missionaries; France; Russia; AIDS sufferers; florists and gardeners; loss of parents; tuberculosis; the Russicum
Marie Thérèse Martin was born at Alençon, France, the youngest of five daughters. Her father, Louis, was a watchmaker, and her mother, Zelie, who died of breast cancer when Thérèse was four, was a lace maker. She was brought up in a model Christian home. While still a child she felt the attraction of the cloister, and at fifteen obtained permission to enter the Carmel of Lisieux. For the next nine years she lived a very ordinary religious life. There are no miracles, exploits or austerities recorded of her. She attained a very high degree of holiness by carrying out her ordinary daily duties with perfect fidelity, having a childlike confidence in God’s providence and merciful love and being ready to be at the service of others at all times. She also had a great love of the Church and a zeal for the conversion of souls. She prayed especially for priests. She died of consumption, at the age of 24, and was canonized in 1925. She has never ceased to fulfill her promise: “I will pass my heaven in doing good on earth.” Her interior life is known through her autobiography called Story of a Soul. Pope John Paul II declared her a Doctor of the Church in 1997.
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 Saviour petition these blessing of which I stand in greatest need (mention here). Shower upon me your promised roses of virtue and grace, dear St. Therese, so that swiftly advancing in sanctity and in perfect love of neighbour, I may someday receive the crown of eternal life. Amen.