Saint Thérèse of the child Jesus:
Universal Patroness of the Missions

01 October 2020

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Thérèse Martin was born in Alençon, France, on January 2, 1873 into a family that regularly donated their contribution to the Propagation of the Faith.

At the age of seven, Thérèse joined the Society of the Holy Childhood which will leave a keen interest in the baptism of Chinese children in her heart, of whom she wanted to become the spiritual godmother.

On 9 April 1888 she entered the Carmel of Lisieux and professed her vows on 8 September 1890, on the feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary.

She died after a serious illness on the afternoon of September 30, 1897. Author of "Story of a soul", published for the first time in 1898, she was canonized by Pius XI on May 17, 1925 and proclaimed Universal Patroness of the Missions, at the same time as St. Francis Xavier, by the Pope himself, on December 14, 1927.

St. John Paul II said: «The way she took to reach this ideal of life is not that of the great undertakings reserved for the few, but on the contrary, a way within everyone's reach, the "little way", a path of trust and total self-abandonment to the Lord's grace. It is not a prosaic way, as if it were less demanding. It is in fact a demanding reality, as the Gospel always is. But it is a way in which one is imbued with a sense of trusting abandonment to divine mercy, which makes even the most rigorous spiritual commitment light» (Homily for the proclamation of Saint Thérèse of the child Jesus and the holy face as "doctor of the church", St. Peter’s Square - Sunday 19 October 1997).