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The Life of St.Thérèse of Lisieux

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With the pending canonization of Mother Teresa in September, we at St. Jude Shop wanted to take a moment to remember the young woman who was an inspiration to her throughout her life: St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Both were remarkable women in their time, and both have much to teach us. If you missed our feature on Mother Teresa, you can find it by clicking here. Today we are going to continue our celebration of these amazing women by taking a closer look at the life of St.Thérèse of Lisieux.

Early Life

Thérèse was born in France in 1873. Her parents were both incredibly devout individuals, so much so that they had taken it upon themselves to remain celibate even during their marriage. They reconsidered their views when a trusted priest advised them that it was not God’s intention for married couples to remain chaste. The two eventually had nine children, five of whom survived. All five children were girls, and the sisters remained close throughout their lives.

Tragedy and Revelation

Thérèse and her family endured the loss of her mother when she was about four years old. Around the same time she herself became ill. So ill in fact, that many thought that she would die. During this time, Thérèse followed her sisters in praying to a statue of the virgin Mary. Thérèse saw Mary smile at her, and found herself cured. Some people refused to believe the story, but Thérèse did not waver.

Thérèse struggled to contain her tumultuous emotions when she was a child. Even the smallest occurrences could leave her in tears. She knew that she would not be allowed to follow her two older sisters into a life of service if she couldn’t learn to handle her emotions so she prayed for a relief from the turbulence. It seemed that no answer was coming, when on Christmas Day in 1886, she found that she could control her emotions when she learned it was the last time she would be participating in a common children’s tradition. Later on she would refer to this moment as her conversion.

A Life of Quiet Sacrifice

During her stay at the convent, Thérèse live a life of quiet sacrifice. Early on, she had felt that she was destined for great deeds, but she quickly realized that the most important way she could minister to others was through small acts of kindness and love. Even those who treated her poorly were amazed at the grace and kindness she showed to them daily.

Thérèse had dreams of becoming a missionary, but illness quickly put an end to those dreams. Towards the end of her life, she was urged by her fellow sisters to put her wisdom in writing. She wrote three books, including her personal autobiography that continue to inspire to this day.


Thérèse tragically died at the age of 24 from tuberculosis. After her passing, her writings became widely circulated, first only to nuns but then to the Church community as a whole. She was canonized by Pope Pius XI on May 17, 1925, only 26 years after her passing. In 1997, Pope John Paul II declared St.Thérèse a Doctor of the Catholic Church and she shares that honor with only two other women.

Celebrate the life of St.Thérèse with us as we prepare to witness the canonization of another great woman, Mother Teresa, who was so inspired by her life of quiet love and sacrifice. Browse our collection of religious goods for the perfect gift to commemorate the event, and as always peace be with you.

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