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St. Therese the Little Flower 

The “greatest saint of modern times,” St. Therese of Lisieux was born in Alencon, Normandy in 1873, the ninth child of Louis and Zelie Martin, saints in their own right. Suppressing her desires to enter a missionary congregation to which her ardent soul was more naturally inclined, she obtained a dispensation to become a Carmelite at the tender age of 15. Thoroughly grasping the spirit of the order and its apostolic power in the Church through prayer and sacrifice, she lived her religious life in the greatest fidelity, spending herself for the salvation of souls and the sanctification of priests. Two years before she died she was inspired to offer herself as a victim of holocaust to the merciful love of God. Her offering was accepted. Enduring fearful trials of both body and spirit with heroic constancy, she gave up her pure soul to God on September 30th, 1897. Towards the end of her life God made known to her that the apostolic zeal that consumed her was to be satiated in the most remarkable manner. She confided to her Sister on her sickbed, “I feel like my mission is about to begin, my mission to make God loved as I love Him, to teach souls my little way. It is the way of Spiritual Childhood, of trust and absolute self- surrender”. Her autobiography “The Story of a soul”, written under obedience has become one of the most widely read spiritual books of all time. She was canonized in 1925 and in 1927 was declared patroness of the Missions with St. Francis Xavier, a testament to the power and importance of prayer, since she never set foot on missionary soil. She is also one of the few woman Saints to be declared a Doctor of the Church.

"Let us go forward in peace, our eyes upon heaven, the one goal of all our longing." - St. Therese