St Therese of Lisieux

st therese of lisieux 200pxFeastday:
Patron: against illness, florists, aircraft pilots
January 2nd, 1873 - September 30th, 1897
Canonized: 17th May 1925 by Pope Pius XI

Thérèse of Lisieux (2 January 1873 – 30 September 1897), or Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, born Marie-Françoise-Thérèse Martin, was a French Carmelite nun. She is also known as "The Little Flower of Jesus".

She felt an early call to religious life, and overcoming various obstacles, in 1888 at the early age of 15, became a nun and joined two of her older sisters in the enclosed Carmelite community of Lisieux, Normandy. After nine years as a Carmelite religious, having fulfilled various offices, such as sacristan and novice mistress, and having spent the last eighteen months in Carmel in a night of faith, she died of tuberculosis at the age of 24. The impact of her posthumous publications, including her memoir The Story of a Soul, made her one of the greatest saints of the 20th century. Pope Pius XI called her the Star of his pontificate; she was beatified in 1923, and canonized in 1925. Thérèse was declared co-patron of the missions with Francis Xavier in 1927, and named co-patron of France with Joan of Arc in 1944. On 19 October 1997 Pope John Paul II declared her the thirty-third Doctor of the Church, the youngest of all Doctors of the Church, and only the third woman Doctor. Devotion to Thérèse has developed around the world.

The depth and novelty of her spirituality, of which she said "my way is all confidence and love," has inspired many believers. In the face of her littleness and nothingness, she trusted in God to be her sanctity. She wanted to go to Heaven by an entirely new little way. "I wanted to find an elevator that would raise me to Jesus." The elevator, she wrote, would be the arms of Jesus lifting her in all her littleness.

The Basilica of Lisieux is the second greatest place of pilgrimage in France after Lourdes.

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