Thérèse of Lisieux was born Marie Françoise-Thérèse Martin on January 2,1873. Known as Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, she lived as a Discalced Carmelite nun and is widely venerated in modern times. She is popularly known as "The Little Flower.”
Thérèse lived as a model of sanctity marked by simplicity and practicality in her approach to the spiritual life. Together with Francis of Assisi, she is one of the most popular saints in the history of the church. Pope Pius X called her "the greatest saint of modern times".
Thérèse felt an early call to religious life and in 1888, at the age of 15, after visiting Rome and seeking a dispensation from the Pope Leo XIII she became a nun and joined two of her older sisters in the cloistered Carmelite community of Lisieux. Over nine years as a Carmelite religious, Thérèse fulfilled various offices such as sacristan and assistant to the novice mistress and developed the “Little Way” which we have today in her biography, prose and poetry.
The final 18 months of Thérèses’ life were marked by increasing illness from tuberculosis culminating in her death on September 30, 1897 at 24.
Saint Thérèse wrote that she felt herself to be, “A child destined by God to be an apostle of apostles… I will raise up a mighty host of little saints. My mission is to make God loved, to make Love loved.” Strong words, proven correct by the countless people around the world who follow her little way of saintliness and have received great graces from God through her intercession.
She was Beatified in 1923 and Canonized in 1925. Pope St. John Paul II named her a doctor of the Church in 1997. Her feast day was originally celebrated on October 3 but was moved to October 1.
The Shrine celebrates the Feast of Saint Thérèse each year in October