October 1 – St. Thérèse of Lisieux – Memorial

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

The Little Flower
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.

One particular story from the autobiography of Saint Thérèse reveals her discovering her vocation. During her time in Carmel she had a holy desire to serve Christ in many ways. At times she longed to be a missionary, to go forth preaching the Gospel and to make a true difference in the world for Christ. One day as she was pondering her own calling and vocation she came to the realization that her mission was to be the heart of Christ. Some are called to be His hands and feet, others His mouth, but she was called to be His heart, she was called to be love. And in discovering her call to be love, she realized she was called to be all things in that love is the greatest calling of all.

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.

Lord, I do desire to bring forth Your love into the world. I desire to be Your heart and, thus, to be all things. Shine within me and help me to be an instrument of Your perfect mercy. Jesus, I trust in You.


Lessons from Saint Thérèse
The Wisdom of God’s Little Flower

Read about Saint Thérèse at the following links:


Saint Wiki

New Advent


Franciscan Media

Catholic Online


All Saints for the Liturgical Year