St Thérèse of the Child Jesus
Thérèse Martin (1873-1897) entered the Lisieux Carmel at the age of 15. Sometimes called the Little Flower, Thérèse is perhaps best known for her ‘Little Way’ which teaches us that everything, no matter how small, may be done for God with love. She had a profound trust in the mercy of God, who would understand her littleness and receive her offerings. For Thérèse this littleness encompasses all our experiences of weakness or failure that, when offered with love, can be used by God to bring life and hope. In her words, 'all is grace'- everything can be used for good.
Thérèse wrote the Story of a Soul, her autobiography, at the request of her Prioress, as well as letters, poems, plays and prayers. She died of tuberculosis at the age of twenty-four. Soon after her death, this hidden young nun began to be known and deeply loved through her writings, and she touched hearts throughout the world.
Thérèse was canonised in 1925, became Patroness of the Missions in 1927 and was made a Doctor of the Church in 1997.