St. Thérèse of Lisieux (1873–1897) did not perform stunning miracles or take the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Yet she is one of our most beloved saints, thanks to her Little Way—a spiritual path that can lead everyone to holiness by teaching us to do everything out of love for God, even the small and seemingly-unimportant things.
St. Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897) was the last of nine children born to Saints Louis and Zelie Martin in Alencon, France. Her family was devoutly religious, and all five surviving siblings, all daughters, entered the convent. From an early age Therese desired to give herself totally to Jesus. Her happy childhood gave way to trial following the death of her mother when she was four years old. This event changed her personality from merry and bright to withdrawn and sensitive. She also suffered a strange illness that brought her near death. Her sisters prayed for her recovery, and Therese was completely healed after she saw the Virgin Mary statue in her room smile down on her.
Just before her 14th birthday, on Christmas Eve, Therese had a mystical experience of the Child Jesus. Her sensitiveness disappeared and her faith was greatly fortified. She attended daily Mass with her father and cultivated her strong desire for the salvation of souls. At the age of 15 she obtained special permission to enter the Carmelite convent in Lisieux where two of her sisters were professed. Recognizing her youth and weakness, and unable to do the great things for God in the world that her heart desired, she determined that she would follow the path of spiritual childhood at the feet of Jesus, as his “Little Flower”, and instead focus on small acts of kindness for love of Jesus and interior acts of self-denial, a spirituality called “The Little Way.”
Therese died of Tuberculosis at the age of 24, and her high degree of holiness was discovered through her autobiography, Story of a Soul. Her “Little Way” became profoundly influential around the world, and although she was not a learned scholar, her deep theological life caused Pope St. John Paul II to declare her a Doctor of the Church.
She is the patron against sickness, tuberculosis, and loss of parents, as well as of pilots, air crews, florists, missionaries, and the sick. St. Therese of Lisieux’s feast day is October 1st.
To provide the best experiences, we and our partners use technologies like cookies to store and/or access device information. Consenting to these technologies will allow us and our partners to process personal data such as browsing behavior or unique IDs on this site and show (non-) personalized ads. Not consenting or withdrawing consent, may adversely affect certain features and functions.
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.