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St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus


October 3

Thérèse of the Child Jesus was born of good and devout parents at Alençon in France. When she was five years old and had lost her mother, she committed herself completely to God’s providence under the care of her loving father and older sisters, and with such teachers “rejoiced as a giant to run the way” of perfection.

When she was nine, she was sent to the Benedictine nuns at Lisieux to be educated. Then, at the age of ten, she was tormented by an unknown and serious illness, from which she was divinely freed by the aid of Our Lady of Victory. When, filled with angelic fervor, she went to the holy banquet for the first time, she seemed to draw from it an insatiable hunger for this food. She desired to enter the Order of Discalced Carmelites but, because of her youth, met with many difficulties in embracing the religious life. These difficulties she courageously overcame, and happily entered the Carmel of Lisieux at the age of fifteen. There she burned with love for God and neighbor. She followed the spiritual way of childhood according to the teaching of the Gospels, and taught it to others, especially to the novices.

Inflamed with desire for suffering, she offered herself two years before her death as a victim to the merciful love of God. At the age of twenty-four, on September 30, 1897, she hastened to her heavenly Bridegroom. Pius XI enrolled her as a Virgin among the Blessed and, two years later on the occasion of the great jubilee, solemnly placed her among the Saints and appointed and declared her the special Patroness of all Missions.

Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. III: August to Advent (Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 1963), pp. 1619-1620.

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