The Little Flower’s Way of Trust and Love

Saint of the Day:  The Little Flower, Therese of Lisieux

French, b. 1873, d. 1897

Cloistered Carmelite nun; Doctor of the Church; her parents, Louis and Zelie Martin are scheduled to be canonized this month

she is the patron of florists, missionaries, pilots, and missions; her symbol is the rose

“My way is entirely one of trust and love.”

Though Zelie and Louis Martin had nine children, only five daughters survived, all of whom entered religious life. As the youngest, Therese admitted to being sensitive, spoiled, and immature. Some of this may have resulted from the loss at age four of her mother to breast cancer. Therese was also strong willed. At 15, on a visit to Rome, her family had an audience with Pope Leo XIII. Although instructed not to speak to the Pope, Therese asked his permission to enter the convent immediately, rather than wait until the age recommended by the superior, which was 21. Pope Leo responded “You will enter if God wills it.”

God did will it, and Therese spent nine years as a cloistered Carmelite, where two of her sisters had already taken vows. In her autobiography, she states her mission in life is to make God loved and in death:

“After my death, I will send down a shower of roses from heaven. I will spend my heaven doing good on Earth.”

Her way of perfection shows us that holiness is achieved in performing the small, everyday things in the presence of and with great love for God. Through sickness and darkness she remained confident in God’s love, dying of tuberculosis at 24.

“Without love, deeds, even the most brilliant, count as nothing.”

“I leave to great souls and lofty minds the beautiful books I cannot understand, much less put into practice and I rejoice that I am little because children alone and those who resemble them will be admitted to the heavenly banquet. I am glad that there are many mansions in the Kingdom of God, because if there were only those whose description and whose road seem to me incomprehensible, I could never enter there.”


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