St. Therese of Lisieux

Nun & Doctor of the Church
Feast day: 1October

Thérèse Martin was born in Alencon, France, in 1873. Whilst still young she entered the Discalced Carmel of Lisieux, where she lived - as Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face - in the greatest humility, with evangelical simplicity and confidence in God. By word and example she taught the novices these same virtues.

At the request of her sister Pauline, Thérèse wrote an autobiography which described her deep relationship with God and set out her spirituality of "The Little Way of Spiritual Childhood". By this "Little Way" Thérèse taught the value of even small acts of love, and the importance of remaining simple and trusting before God who is a loving parent.

Offering her life for the salvation of souls and the spread of the Church, she died on September 30th 1897. She was canonised in 1925 and declared a 'Doctor of the Church' in 1997. She is patron saint of many different things including a co-patron of France and of the Missions. Despite dying so young after a life lived in obscurity, Thérèse is arguably the most popular saint of modern times.

A photograph of Thérèse before her burial

Since the 1990s Thérèse's mortal remains have travelled the world, bringing knowledge of her "Little Way" to millions of people. For information about the visit of her relics to England and Wales in the autumn of 2009, please click here.


Let us pray
God our Father,
you promised your kingdom
to those who are willing to become like little children.
Help us to follow the way of St. Thérèse with confidence
so that by her prayers
we may come to know your eternal glory.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Further resources

Thérèse in an icon written by the Carmelite nuns of Ravenna,
in York Carmelite Friary
Pope Benedict on St. Thérèse
During a general audience on April 6th 2011, Pope Benedict XVI explained what "The Little Flower" can teach Christians about spirituality. To watch the video click on the arrow in the YouTube box below.