Saint Therese of Lisieux was the ninth child of saintly parents, Louis and Zélie Martin, both of whom had wished to consecrate their lives to God in the cloister. The vocation denied them was given to their children, five of whom became religious, one to the Visitation Order and four in the Carmelite Convent of Lisieux. Brought up in an atmosphere of faith where every virtue and aspiration were carefully nurtured and developed, her vocation manifested itself when she was still only a child.

Tragedy and loss came quickly to Therese when her mother died of breast cancer when she was four and a half years old. Her sixteen year old sister Pauline became her second mother — which made the second loss even worse when Pauline entered the Carmelite convent five years later. A few months later, Therese became so ill with a fever that people thought she was dying. When Therese saw her sisters praying by a statue of Mary in her room, Therese also prayed. She saw Mary smile at her and suddenly she was cured.

Educated by the Benedictines, when she was fifteen she applied for permission to enter the Carmelite Convent, and being refused by the superior, went to Rome with her father, as eager to give her to God as she was to give herself, to seek the consent of the Holy Father, Leo XIII, then celebrating his jubilee. He preferred to leave the decision in the hands of the superior, who finally consented and on 9 April, 1888, at the unusual age of fifteen, Thérèse Martin entered the convent of Lisieux where two of her sisters had preceded her.

In 1896, Thérèse requested to become a missionary and was selected to join a convent in Hanoi, Vietnam. But before leaving for her new duties, she was told by Jesus Christ, her “Bridegroom”, that she would soon be joining Him. That same year, she contracted tuberculosis. She kept working without telling anyone until she became so sick a year later everyone knew it. Her pain was so great that she said that if she had not had faith she would have taken her own life without hesitation. But she tried to remain smiling and cheerful — and succeeded so well that some thought she was only pretending to be ill. Her one dream was the work she would do after her death, helping those on earth. “I will return,” she said. “My heaven will be spent on earth.” She died on September 30, 1897 at the age of 24 years old.

The account of the eleven years of her religious life, marked by signal graces and constant growth in holiness, is given by St. Thérèse in her autobiography, written in obedience to her superior and published two years after her death. In 1901 it was translated into English, and in 1912 another translation, the first complete edition of the life of the Servant of God, containing the autobiography, “Letters and Spiritual Counsels”, was published. Its success was immediate and it has passed into many editions, spreading far and wide the devotion to this “little” saint of simplicity, and abandonment in God’s service, of the perfect accomplishment of small duties.

The fame of her sanctity and the many miracles performed through her intercession caused the introduction of her cause of canonization only seventeen years after her death, 10 Jun, 1914. On October 19, 1997, Pope John Paul II declared her a Doctor of the Church because of the impact that her spirituality has had on the lives of so many of God’s children.

St. Therese of Lisieux is one of the patron saints of the missions, not because she ever went anywhere, but because of her special love of the missions, and the prayers and letters she gave in support of missionaries. This is reminder to all of us who feel we can do nothing, that it is the little things that keep God’s kingdom growing. She is also the patroness of aviators and florists.

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  1. I always pray the 24 glory be to St THERESA of the CHILD JESUS and ask for special favours. What do I have to do to reaaly get the answers? But no matter What I will keep on praying and will never loose HOPE

    • She does hear and she does pray. Keep faith. She has sent me roses and prayed for me many times. She is sweet and compassionate….a good friend.

      Novena to Saint Therese of the Little Flower
      Saint Therese, the Little
      Flower, please pick me
      a rose from the heavenly
      garden and send it to
      me with a message of love.
      Ask God to grant me the
      favor I thee implore and
      tell Him I will love
      Him each day more and more.

      The above prayer, plus 5 Our Father’s, 5 Hail Mary’s and 5 Glory Be’s must be said on 5 successive days, before 11 a.m. On the 5th day, the 5th set of prayers having been completed, offer one more set – 5 Our Father’s, 5 Hail Mary’s and 5 Glory Be’s.)

    • To get the answers you want you have to totally accept God’s will for your life. It may not be the answers you want but you have to accept it. When one door closes another one opens.
      Therese does work but only for the will of God.
      Remember St. Monica prayed over 17 years for favors from God.

      Don’t give up
      May St.Therese and God bless you!

    • Please remember that St Therese is always there around you if you just look for little signs. She has granted me many petitions and she found me instead of me finding her.

  2. St. Teresa,
    Thank you for loving me and praying for me. You have been such a good friend. I love and adore your friendship. Please pray the request I bestowed upon you last week. Please pray for my husband and I’s marriage and our little family.
    I love you my dear friend. Thank you so much!

  3. I need huge prayers my oldest grandaughter turn her back on me and her uncle and cousin after have her. 13 years in vistitation to hear her step mom and dads lyes. I pray she comes back to us and that her mom and step dad changes there mind and let’s her come and that my oldest son contacts me and wants family peace. I want this so bad for our family

    • When Loved ones are for apart we are together, separated by distance yet always joined by, in, with, why, because of & for one another when we look deeply into our heart & realize distance does not have permission to cause sadness in my life. Be Cherished & virtually Patient. I Love you. Rejoice & Be Glad. Jesus Christ Loves us. Thank Goodness, Thank You. Hallelujah…

  4. Her one dream was the work she would do after her death, helping those on earth. “I will return,” she said. “My heaven will be spent on earth.” Besides working as an intercessor in prayer, have there been any signs of her work here on earth, or any appearances of her? (I am not sure if saints can appear as apparitions, as Our Lady does.)

  5. St. Therese of Lisieux, pray for us, for my special intentions and our Holy Father’s intentions. Mary help of christians, pray for us.

  6. Thank you for sharing the lives of our saints. I love waking up in the mornings to eagerly open my e-mail to see which saint I will be reading about. I can sympathize with St. Therese about pain. I to live a life of pain 24 hours a day. I to would have ended my life had it not been for my strong faith. I continue to pray to God and say several rosaries a day and pray to our saints to intercede for all of us that are suffering both physically and mentally. Never give up, as God has a plan for each of us. He also has his own calendar. After reading some of the stories about how our saints died, I don’t have it that bad. God Bless.

  7. Dearest Saint Therese of Lisieux, you said that you would spend your time in heaven doing good on earth. Your trust in God was complete. Pray that He may increase my trust in His goodness and mercy as I ask for the following petitions… (State your intentions) Pray for me that I, like you, may have great and innocent confidence in the loving promises of our God. Pray that I may live my life in union with God’s plan for me, and one day see the Face of God whom you loved so deeply. Saint Therese, you were faithful to God even unto the moment of your death. Pray for me that I may be faithful to our loving God. May my life bring peace and love to the world through faithful endurance in love for God our savior.

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