St. Therese of Lisieux

Carmelite nun


January 2, 1873
September 30, 1897


Picture of St. Therese of Lisieux
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St. Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897), Carmelite nun

Teresa was born at Alencon, Normandy. In 1886 she underwent a religious conversion and thereafter dedicated herself to monastic life. Entering the Carmelite convent at Lisieux at fifteen, she was appointed assistant novice mistress in 1893. One year before her death (1897) from tuberculosis, she volunteered to join the Carmelite missionaries in China.

Her devotional book, The Little Way, was widely acclaimed, as was her autobiography The Story of a Soul. Miracles of healing and prophecy soon were attributed to her name, and an account of these was appended in 1907 to the autobiography.

Teresa was beatified in 1923 and canonized in 1925. One year later a basilica was erected in her honor at Lisieux. In 1929 she became patroness of foreign missions, and in 1947 she was named patroness of France, together with Joan of Arc. Churches and shrines dedicated to her memory often bear the title "Little Flower", reflecting the subtitle of her autobiography.

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