Saint Therese of Lisieux, often referred to as “The Little Flower,” is a beautiful witness to the power of God’s grace. Her life and spiritual writings have left an enduring impact on the world and her unique approach to holiness makes her one of the most beloved saints of our time.
The life of Saint Therese reminds us that holiness is not reserved for the extraordinary, but attainable for anyone with a profound love for God and commitment to try to do His will each day. Her “Little Way” reminds us to embrace even the small opportunities to do so!
We celebrate her feast day on Oct. 1.
Here are nine things to know about the life of Saint Therese of Lisieux, followed by a prayer for her intercession:
1. Saint Therese was born in France in 1873 to pious Catholic parents. Her parents, Louis and Zelie Martin, are saints too!
2. Her mother described Saint Therese as an “incredibly stubborn” child and spoke of her frequent tantrums. Therese describes a turning point on Christmas Day in 1886 when she had a “complete conversion.”
3. Her mother died of breast cancer when Therese was only four years old, leaving her father and four older sisters to raise her.
4. Pope Leo XIII said she could enter Carmel “if God wills it.” Her bishop then granted her special permission at age 15.
5. The “Little Way” of Saint Therese is a message of spirituality that focuses on simple childlike trust in Jesus.
6. Saint Therese of Lisieux died at age 24. Her final words were, “My God, I love you!”
7. Her deathbed promise is to “send down a shower of roses from the heavens” for those who asked for her intercession.
8. Saint Therese was proclaimed a Universal Patroness of the Missions.
9. Pope Saint John Paul II declared her a Doctor of the Church in 1997. She is the youngest Church Doctor.
Miraculous Invocation to Saint Therese
O Glorious Saint Therese,
whom Almighty God has raised up to aid
and inspire the human family,
I implore your miraculous intercession.
You are so powerful in obtaining every need
of body and spirit from the Heart of God.
Holy Mother Church proclaims you “Prodigy of Miracles…
the greatest saint of Modern Times.”
Now I fervently beseech you to answer my petition
(mention in silence here)
and to carry out your promises of
spending heaven doing good on earth…
of letting fall from Heaven a shower of roses.
Little Flower, give me your childlike faith,
to see the Face of God
in the people and experiences of my life,
and to love God with full confidence.
Saint Therese, my Carmelite Sister,
I will fulfill your plea “to be made known everywhere”
and I will continue to lead others to Jesus through you.