Marie François Thérèse Martin was born January 2, 1873, in Alençon, France. She did not fully comprehend what the Carmel was, but at 15 desired to enter. On September 24, 1890, she received her Carmelite veil in Lisieux as Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. Although young, she was an accomplished artist, playwright/poetess, composer of prayers and avid letter writer. Knowing that she could not do great things, she adopted her “Little Way” – childlike surrender to God in everything, joyful humility, confidence and trust in His mercy and kindness, perseverance in prayer and love in all things.
During her seven years in Carmel, she suffered spiritually and physically, offering all to God. At her last agony from tuberculosis she said, “If I had not had faith I would have taken my life without hesitation.” On September 30, 1897, she succumbed, saying, “O, I love Him. My God, I love you.” She was canonized in 1925. She is principal patroness of the missions with St. Francis Xavier, second patroness of France with St. Joan of Arc, and a daughter of the Church.
Compiled by Angela M. Orsini, October 2018