MEMORIAL: OCTOBER 1
St. Therese was born in France in 1873 as the youngest of nine children to Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin. As a young girl, Therese lost her mother to breast cancer. She was raised by her older sisters until they entered the convent. At the age of 14, Therese had a conversion of heart on Christmas. She would enter the Carmalite Convent soon after, only after getting permission from Rome to do so at such a young age.
In the convent, Therese suffered many humiliations and welcomed them. Always striving to do small acts of love and kindness, Therese adopted her ‘little way’ from which she gets her nickname ‘the Little Flower.’ St. Therese would eventually contract tuberculosis, but she did not tell anyone and continued her work. It eventually became evident that she was sick, and she would pass away at the age of 24.
Therese received no acclimation during her time on earth. It was not until her writings were gathered and sent out to other convents that she was recognized as the saint she is today. Her autobiography “A Story of a Soul” is a popular spiritual devotion for many, and she has been proclaimed a Doctor of the Church (1 of 4 female Doctors). St. Therese is the patron saint of missions even though she never left the convent, but because she loved them so much.