St. Therese of Lisieux, Catholic Pilgrimages & Tours - Spiritual Journeys 206 Tours

St. Therese of Lisieux

The Story:

Pope Pius X described her as "the greatest saint of modern times". St. Therese's writings have captured the hearts of million. The Story of a Soul, her spiritual autobiography, made her world famous. Therese came from a devout and well-to-do family and was the youngest of nine children. At the age of four she suffered the loss of her mother - which affected her deeply. During the following ten years she grew inseparable from Pauline, her older sister. When her sister, Pauline left home to enter the Carmelite convent, Therese fell mysteriously ill. On May 13, 1883 while praying a nine-day novena before the family's statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Therese fell into a deep ecstasy.

After a vision in which the Virgin smiled at her, little Therese was cured. A profound conversion took place in the life of the saint on Christmas day 1886 and her shyness and seriousness washed away in an instant; she had received strength and peace to last her life. With her conversion at the age of fourteen, she felt ready to enter the Carmelite order. As the Rule of Carmel allowed only those twenty-one and older to enter, Therese would need a special dispensation from the bishop. Throughout her life as a nun, she lived the faith of Christ in a most extraordinary way.

She declared "I came to Carmel to save souls and to pray for priests". After suffering from tuberculosis for several years, she gave up her soul on September 30, 1897 delcaring in her last moments "I do not regret having given myself to Love". The figure of St. Therese of Lisieux in the Carmelite Convent Chapel is not her body but a waxen replica of it. Her earthly remains lie beneath the statue. St. Therese once confided to a sister that, after her death, she would send down a shower of roses; and she has kept her promise. It is well known that when a prayer is answered through her intercession, one will receive roses.

Location: Approximately one hundred miles northwest of Paris.

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