Home Masses Grangegeeth St Therese
Sunday, 14 July 2024
St Therese
St Thérèse of the Child Jesus

Thérèse of the Child Jesus was born Thérèse Martin in Alençon, Normandy in 1873, to devout parents Louis and Zelie Martin, both of whom had at a time felt drawn to the religious life. Instead, God drew five of their nine children to a religious vocation. The youngest of the family was Thérèse and from as early as nine she tried to follow her sisters into the Carmelite order at Lisieux in Northern France. Once, on a visit to Rome, the little child petitioned His Holiness, Leo XIII, to intercede for her. Finally, at almost 15, she was admitted, in 1888. Indeed, her life would be short, but what a legacy she would leave.

Such was her spiritual progress at the Carmelite monastery that by age 22 she was charged with the task of instructing the novices of the community. One day, it is related, she brought those in her care around the tabernacle of the altar that she was responsible for tending. In their presence, she tapped firmly upon the door of the tabernacle and asked the Lord, very directly, to come out where He was needed!

Her life, guided by God, was characterised by a childlike simplicity, utter humility, constant self-sacrifice, a deep love of God and trust in His goodness. As to asking God for one's needs, she wrote,
"From God, who is so mighty and compassionate, one can never ask too much. One will obtain from him exactly in proportion to one's reliance upon him".

It was in what she called her "Little Way", of performing well the small duties of everyday life for the love of God, that Thérèse would become an inspiration to ordinary people in succeeding generations throughout the world. She revealed this 'little way' in her autobiography "The Story of a Soul", which she wrote under obedience. What was revealed therein about God would one day lead to Thérèse being declared Doctor of the Church by His Holiness John Paul II in 1997.

Thérèse, though confined to a convent, longed to be part of mission. God soon showed her how this could be accomplished, through her prayer and sacrifices. In her short life she bore many sufferings of body and mind, including 'the dark night of the soul'.

On the night between Holy Thursday and Good Friday in 1896,
Thérèse experienced her first hemoptysis (spitting up of blood) from tuberculosis. Over the next 18 months, her condition steadily deteriorated. In the months prior to her death, she prayed for the grace to "spend my heaven doing good on earth" and promised that after her death she would send "a shower of roses" from heaven. Offering her sufferings for the salvation of souls, Thérèse died of tuberculosis on September 30th, 1897. She was only 24.

A year after her death, her autobiography was published and quickly sold out. Since then, it has been published in many languages and countless copies distributed. Before long, stories of favours granted through the intercession of Thérèse poured in to the Carmel Convent in thousands of letters.

St. Thérèse was canonised by Pope Pius XI on May 17th, 1925. On December 14th, 1927, Pope Pius XI proclaimed St. Thérèse Principal Patroness, equal to St Francis Xavier, of all missionaries, men and women, and of missions throughout the world.

On May 3rd, 1944, Pope Pius XII named St.
Thérèse Secondary Patroness of France, equal to St. Joan of Arc. On Mission Sunday, on 19th October 1997, Pope John Paul II named St.Thérèse a Doctor of the Church, the third woman to be so named. Her feast day is celebrated on October 1st.

Prayer to St Thérèse

O Saint Thérèse,
whom Almighty God has raised up to aid and counsel mankind,
I ask your Miraculous Intercession.

So powerful are you in obtaining every need of body and soul
that our Holy Mother Church proclaims you a "Prodigy of Miracles
...the Greatest Saint of Modern Times."
Now I fervently ask you to answer my petition (mention here)
and to carry out your promises
of spending Heaven doing good upon the earth
...of letting fall from Heaven a Shower of Roses.

Henceforth, dear Little Flower,
I will fulfill your plea "to be made known everywhere"
and I promise to lead others to Jesus through you.

St Thérèse Prayer for Vocations

St.Thérèse, Little Flower,
you are "love in the heart of the Church."
You dedicated your life as a Carmelite Nun
for good Priests to serve God's people.
From your privileged place in God's Heart,
I ask you to stir up responsive hearts in young men
to follow Jesus
as good and holy priests and religious.
Bless our Church with loyal servants of the Gospel.

Renew our Church in love,
by igniting love in the young men Jesus calls.
We need your help, intercession, and intervention today,
Beloved Patron of Priests. Amen.

~~ taken from prayer card issued by the Society of the Little Flower

I Have Only Today
(Prayer of St.
Thérèse of Lisieux)

My life is an instant,
An hour which passes by;
My life is a moment
Which I have no power to stay.
You know, O my God,
That to love You here on earth -
I have only today.