Monday, September 24, 2007

Sept. 25 Begins Novena to St. Theresa of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face

St. Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897)
Virgin, Religious, Doctor of the Church
Feast Day October 3

Begin Novena Tuesday September 25:

St. Therese, The Little Flower,
Please pick me a rose from the heavenly garden
And send it to me with a message of love
Ask God to grant me the favor I thee implore (name petition/thanksgiving)
And tell Him I will love Him each day more and more.

(The above prayer, plus - as St. Therese called them - pray five Pater's, five Ave's, and five Gloria's)

Therese Martin was born in Alencon, France. After her mother's death when Therese was just three years old, her family moved to Lisieux. When she was 15, she told her father of her desire to enter the Carmel of Lisieux, where her two oldest sisters had entered. He agreed, but the local Bishop and Carmelite authorities refused, saying she was too young. On a pilgrimmage to Rome, she begged the Pope to allow her to become a Carmelite despite her age, and he replied that she would enter if it were God's will. Months later, the Bishop granted her permission and she entered Carmel in April of 1888. St. Therese of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face wrote her autobiography, The Story of a Soul, out of obedience; through it she continues to teach others her "little way" of spiritual childhood. She wrote: "I am a very little soul, who can only offer very little things to our Lord." St. Therese's autobiography shows such spiritual depth that in 1997 she was made the 33rd Doctor of the Church. St. Therese, who is called the Little Flower, died of tuberculosis at the age of 24. She is a patroness of all foreign missions.

Source: Saints Calendar and Daily Planner; TAN Books and Publishers, Inc. 2006; p. 119.

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