MARIE-FRANCOISE-THERESE MARTIN, known as “The Little Flower of Jesus,” was born at Alençon. France, on January 2nd, 1873. Reared in a home of comfort and surrounded by refinements that would have spoiled an ordinary child, Teresa’s intelligence had an early dawning which enabled her to comprehend the Divine Goodness far in advance of her tender years. Our Lord visited upon the child a severe trial—a strange malady from which there seemed no recovery. Her implicit confidence in God, however, overcame her infirmity and she progressed rapidly toward sanctity.
Teresa adopted flowers as the symbol of her love for her Divine Saviour and offered her practices in virtue, sacrifice, and mortification as flowers at the feet of Jesus. At fifteen she entered the Carmelite Convent at Lisieux, France, where she distinguished herself by punctual observance of the rule, burning love for God and wonderful trust in Him.
Before she died, this “lily of delicious perfume”—as Pope Pius X. called her—revealed to the superiors her life story in pages of rarest beauty.
She died in the odor of sanctity on September 30th, 1897, at the age of 24. Since her death countless graces have been attributed to her intercession. Pope Benedict XV. in 1921 opened the way for the process of her beatification and she was declared Blessed by Pope Pius XI. on April 29, 1923, and was canonized on May 17, 1925.
Reflection for Memorial of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
Memorial of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, October 1
Today our Church honors Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. Thérèse died at an early age of twenty-four in 1897. She was canonized only twenty-eight years later in 1925. In 1997, one hundred years after her death, Pope John Paul II declared her to be a doctor of the Church. She felt called to enter the cloister at an early age, entering the Carmelites at age fifteen. Her nine years within that cloister produced an abundance of good fruit for the entire Church.
Jesus need laborers for His vineyard, He needs all of us to commit to doing His will. Most of all, He needs people who are committed to imitate Saint Thérèse by being His heart in a loveless world. He needs the witness of deep and sincere charity more than anything.
Reflect, today, upon your own calling to be Christ’s heart. Do you see yourself as one who brings His love into the world? Have you said yes to this holy vocation of charity? Be His heart and watch Him transform others through the love manifested through that Sacred Heart.
Read about Saint Thérèse at the following links: