St. Therese of Lisieux was born Marie Therese Martin in Alencon, France in 1873, the youngest of five daughters. Her father, Louis, was a watchmaker and her mother, Zelie, who died of breast cancer when Therese was four, was a lace maker. Marie Therese was brought up in a model Christian home. While still a child, she felt the attraction of the Religious life and the cloister, and at fifteen obtained permission to enter the Carmel of Lisieux. For the next nine years she lived a very ordinary Religious life. There are no miracles, exploits or austerities recorded of her. She attained a very high degree of holiness by carrying out her ordinary daily duties with perfect fidelity, having a childlike confidence in God’s providence and merciful love, and being ready to be at the service of others at all times. She also had a great love of the Church and a zeal for the conversion of souls. She prayed especially for priests. She died in 1897, at the age of 24, and was canonized in 1925. She has never ceased to fulfill her promise: “I will pass my heaven in doing good on earth.” Her interior life is known through her autobiography called Story of a Soul.
In 1975, Pope Paul VI wrote an Apostolic Exhortation called On Christian Joy (Gaudete in Domino). In that Exhortation, he speaks of St. Therese: “In more recent times, St. Therese of Lisieux shows us the courageous way of abandonment into the hands of God to whom she entrusts her littleness. And yet it is not that she has no experience of the feeling of God’s absence, a feeling which our century is harshly experiencing. In her words, ‘Sometimes it seems that the little bird (to which she compared herself) cannot believe that anything else exists except the clouds that envelop it. This is the moment of perfect joy for the poor, weak little thing. What happiness for it to remain there nevertheless, and to gaze at the invisible light that hides from its faith.’”
Let us pray. “St. Therese, we fervently ask you to intercede for us and to carry out your promise of spending heaven doing good on earth. Little Flower, give us your childlike faith, to see the Face of God in the people and experiences of our lives, and to imitate you by loving God with full confidence and hope. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
For more (and to find some child-friendly resources): https://www.love2learn.net/history/saints/sttherlf.htm