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(¸.•´ (¸.•´• Saint Therese of the Infant Jesus, Pray for Us •
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* French antique silver medal of Saint Therese from the Art Deco era
Thérèse de 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 who was canonised in 1925 and declared a Doctor of the Church, one of only three women to receive that honour, in 1997. In 1927 she was named co-patron of the missions with St. Francis Xavier, and, in 1944, co-patron of France with St. Joan of Arc. She is also known as "The Little Flower of Jesus".
Thérèse is known for her "way of confidence and love", commonly known as "The Little Way". In her quest for sanctity, she realized that it was not necessary to accomplish heroic acts, or "great deeds", in order to attain holiness and to express her love of God. She wrote,
"Love proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? Great deeds are forbidden me. 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 actions for love."
This little way, as Thérèse called it, is the foundation of her spirituality. Long ago the Church described Thérèse's way as "the little way of spiritual childhood," but Therese wrote "little way" only once, and she never wrote the phrase "spiritual childhood." It was her sister Pauline who, after Thérèse's death, adopted the phrase "the little way of spiritual childhood" to interpret Therese's path. Years after Thérèse's death, a Carmelite of Lisieux asked Pauline about this phrase and Pauline answered spontaneously "But you know well that Thérèse never used it! It is mine." In May 1897 Thérèse wrote to Father Adolphe Roulland, "My way is all confidence and love." To Maurice Bellière she wrote "and I, with my way, will do more than you, so I hope that one day Jesus will make you walk by the same way as me."
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