|About the Book|
CHAPTER ONEOctober 8.—ST. BRIDGET OF SWEDEN AND SAINTSOUR LADY OF FATIMA POPE FRANCISFRANCISCAN REFLECTIONSPIETA PRAYERSST. THERESE THE LITTLE FLOWERINTRODUCTIONSAINT THERESE THE LITTLE FLOWERAttributesRosesPatronageMissionaries- France-MoreCHAPTER ONEOctober 8.—ST. BRIDGET OF SWEDEN AND SAINTSOUR LADY OF FATIMA POPE FRANCISFRANCISCAN REFLECTIONSPIETA PRAYERSST. THERESE THE LITTLE FLOWERINTRODUCTIONSAINT THERESE THE LITTLE FLOWERAttributesRosesPatronageMissionaries- France- Russia- HIV/AIDS sufferers- florists and gardeners- loss of parents- tuberculosis- the Russicum- AlaskaSoon after her birth in January 1873, the outlook for the survival of Thérèse Martin was very grim. Enteritis, which had already claimed the lives of four of her siblings, threatened Thérèse, and she had to be entrusted to a wet nurseFeeling the approach of death Madame Martin had written to Pauline in spring 1877, You and Marie will have no difficulties with her upbringing. Her disposition is so good. She is a chosen spirit. Thérèse was barely 4 1/2 years old. Her mothers death dealt her a severe blow and later she would consider that the first part of her life stopped that day. She wrote: Every detail of my mothers illness is still with me, specially her last weeks on earth. She remembered the bedroom scene where her dying mother received the last sacraments while Thérèse knelt and her father cried. She wrote: When Mummy died, my happy disposition changed. I had been so lively and open- now I became diffident and oversensitive, crying if anyone looked at me. I was only happy if no one took notice of me Thérèse was taught at home until she was eight and a half, and then entered the school kept by the Benedictine nuns of the Abbey of Notre Dame du Pre in Lisieux. Thérèse, taught well and carefully by Marie and Pauline, found herself at the top of the class, except for writing and arithmetic. However, because of her young age and high grades, she was bullied. The one who bullied her the most was a girl of fourteen who did poorly at school. Thérèse suffered very much as a result of her sensitivity, and she cried in silence. Furthermore, the boisterous games at recreation were not to her taste. She preferred to tell stories or look after the little ones in the infants class. The five years I spent at school were the saddest of my life, and if my dear Céline had not been with me I could not have stayed there for a single month without falling ill. Céline informs us, She now developed a fondness for hidingThérèse lived a hidden life and wanted to be unknown, yet became popular a Even if she wasnt the model little girl her sisters later portrayed, Thérèse was very sensitive to this education. She played at being a nun. One day she went as far as to wish her mother would die- when scolded, she explained that she wanted the happiness of Paradise for her dear mother After her death through her spiritual autobiography. She also left letters, poems, religious plays, prayers, and her last conversations were recorded by her sisters. Paintings and photographs – mostly the work of her sister Céline – further led to her being recognized by millions of men and women.Thérèse said on her death-bed, I only love simplicity. I have a horror of pretence, and she spoke out against some of the claims made concerning the Lives of saints written in her day, We should not say improbable things, or things we do not know.The depth of her spirituality, of which she said, my way is all confidence and love, has inspired many believers.