Patroness of Catholic Missions
Saint Therese of Lisieux
Therese Martin, a young Carmelite Sister at the age of 15, found her project of life in "The Little Way" All the small things of every day life will positively influence one's life and faith. It is enough to do the small things of every day.
The ninth and youngest child of a French watchmaker and his wife, and Therese was religiously brought up, and the example of two of her sisters drew her towards the life of a Carmelite nun. This vocation was strengthened at Christmas 1886 when, she tells us, "the divine Child flooded the darkness of my soul with radiant light." But Teresa was only fourteen, and it was nearly eighteen months later before the bishop allowed her to join her sisters in the Carmel at Lisieux. There she lived for the rest of her short life.
The world would probably never have heard of Teresa had she not been told to write down her childhood recollections. The resulting manuscript, covering all her life, was published after her death as a book, The Story of a Soul: it took the Christian world by storm.
Sister Therese's "little way" of spiritual childhood, the way of trust and complete self-surrender, the way of simplicity and perfection in the doing of small things and daily duties, has become a pattern for numberless people; graces without number are attributed to her intercession in Heaven, she is the saint of an era. God enabled her to attain holiness through ordinary means in a short time. She died on September 30, 1897; she was not yet twenty-five years old.