The feast day of St. Thérèse of Lisieux will be celebrated by the Catholic Church on Oct. 1. Because of her love and prayers for the missions St.Thérèse is the patron saint of missions. She is also the patron saint of gardeners and florists. Thérèse of Lisieux was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church. She is the youngest Doctor of the Church.
St. Thérèse was born in Alencon, France in 1873. She suffered from the death of her mother, due to breast cancer, at the age of four. Her family then moved to Lisieux. At a young age she wished to follow her sisters, Pauline and Marie, into the convent but was denied due to her age. However, in 1888 she entered the Carmel of Lisieux. On Sept. 8, 1890 she made her religious profession as a Carmelite.
St. Thérèse is also known as the Little Flower. She saw herself as a flower in the garden of God. Calling herself “the little flower of Jesus” she wanted to give glory to God by just being herself among all the other flowers in Gods garden.
The health of St. Thérèse was poor. She suffered grief when her father died and also contracted tuberculosis. She suffered much pain but offered her suffering for ‘the poor sinners’. Her great desire was to save souls. “My mission…to make God loved….will begin after my death”, she said. “I will spend my heaven doing good on earth. I will let fall a shower of roses.” She also said, “I want to suffer and even rejoice for love, for this is my way of scattering flowers. Never a flower shall find but its petals shall be scattered for you, and all the while I will sing, yes sing, even when gathering my roses in the midst of thorns, and the longer and sharper the thorns may be, the sweeter shall be my song!”
The following quote shows her spirituality “The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word and the doing of the least action for love.” Her spirituality is known as “The little way”. She trusted in Jesus to make her holy and focused on doing small deeds daily rather than great deeds.
Her autobiography “The Story of a Soul” has led many pilgrims to her ‘little way’.
St. Thérèse was only 24 when she died of tuberculosis. After her death she was canonized a saint on May 17, 1925 by Pope Pius XI. Pope John Paul II declared her a doctor of the Church in 1997. Her writings have led many souls closer to God.
The following prayers were written by St. Thérèse of Lisieux.
St. Thérèse of Lisieux
Yes, all is well when we seek only the will of Jesus!
All my strength lies in prayer and sacrifice. They are my invincible weapons, and I know, by experience that they can soften the heart as much as words.
More than ever, I understand that the smallest events of our life are conducted by God; He is the One who makes us desire and who grants our desires.
A Morning Prayer
O my God! I offer Thee all my actions of this day for the intentions and for the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I desire to sanctify every beat of my heart, my every thought, my simplest works, by uniting them to Its infinite merits; and I wish to make reparation for my sins by casting them into the furnace of Its Merciful Love.
O my God! I ask of Thee for myself and for those whom I hold dear, the grace to fulfill perfectly Thy Holy Will, to accept for love of Thee the joys and sorrows of this passing life, so that we may one day be united together in heaven for all Eternity.
My Song of Today
Oh, how I love thee, Jesus! My soul aspires to Thee. And yet for one day only my simple prayer I pray!
Come reign within my heart, smile tenderly on me.
Today, dear Lord, today.
May today there be peace
May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possiblilties that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise, and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.
Prayer for Spritual Childhood
Lord, give me the open heart of a child. Let me come trustingly to you, not afraid to ask for your love.
Deliver me from the belief that I am self-sufficient. Show me my need of you.
Give me the grace to reach out to you, Lord give me a child’s’ simplicity and a sense of wonder.
May my enthusiasm for you never die. Let me hasten to converse with you in the intimacy of prayer. Give me discernment to realize there is no detail of my life too tiny for your concern.
Help me to perceive your glory in the helplessness of the cross.
Son of God, who for my sake, took on the dependency of childhood, help me to accept the readiness of the Father’s grace.