Monday 1 October 2018

# Saints

Saint Therese of Liseux

The 1st of October is the feast day of Saint Therese of Lisieux (2 January 1873 – 30 September 1897). She was bornMarie Françoise-Thérèse Martin and also known as Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, O.C.D., “The Little Flower of Jesus” or “The Little Flower”. She is the patron saint of Gardens of Vatican City; Missionaries; France; Russia; HIV/AIDS sufferers; radio care-a-thons; florists and gardeners; loss of parents; tuberculosis; the Russicum; and Alaska.

She was the youngest of nine children, her parents were Saints Louis and Zelie Martin, and she was born in Alencon, France. All of her five surviving siblings entered the convent. When she was four years old, her mother died and she became withdrawn and sensitive, a change from her merry and bright former self. She also suffered from an illness that she nearly died from. However, after her sisters prayed for her health, she saw the Virgin Mary statue in her room smile and she made a full recovery. Her sensitiveness disappeared and her faith fortified after she had a vision of the Child Jesus just before she turned 14 on Christmas Eve. She gained a strong thirst for the salvation of souls, and she attended mass daily. She gained special permission to enter the Carmelites at the age of 15 where her two sisters were also professed. She practised a spiritually called the “Little Way” where she did small acts of kindness for the love of Jesus and interior acts of self-denial. At the age of 24, she died of Tuberculosis. Her autobiography, “Story of a Soul” and her “Little Way” became influential around the world and Pope Saint John Paul II declared her a Doctor of the Church.

Image: Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, O.C.D.