St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus (1873 - 1895)
Thérèse, like so many saints, sought to serve others, to do something outside herself, to forget herself in the acts of love. She is one of the great examples of the gospel paradox that “we gain our life by losing it”, and that the seed that falls to the ground must die in order to live (John 12:24).
On October 1, Catholics honor the life of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus. St. Thérèse was born January 2, 1873 in Alençon, France to pious parents Louis and Zélie.
On Christmas Day 1886 St. Thérèse had a profound experience of intimate union with God, which she described as a “complete conversion.” During a pilgrimage to Rome, in 1887, she obtained permission from Pope Leo XIII to enter the Carmelite Monastery at the young age of 15. On entering, she devoted herself to living a life of holiness, doing all things with love and childlike trust in God.
Thérèse offered herself as a sacrificial victim to the merciful Love of God on June 9, 1895. Saint Thérèse was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope John Paul II in 1997 - 100 years after her death at the age of 24. She is only the third woman to be so proclaimed, after Saint Catherine of Siena and Saint Teresa of Avila.
St. Thérèse wrote once, 'You know well enough that Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them."