Therese Martin, future Saint Therese of Lisieux, was born on January 2, 1873 in Alecon, France. By the age of 15 she had decided upon becoming a cloistered Carmelite after wanting to follow in the footsteps of her sisters but was refused by the Carmelite superior because of her young age. After also being denied entrance by the bishop, Therese even approached Pope Leo XIII while on a pilgrimage with her father and sister. After being forbidden to speak to the Pope, Therese broke the mandatory silence and begged for his approval to be accepted into the Carmelite cloister. Pope Leo XIII was impressed with Therese and she was soon accepted into the cloister and was finally able to join up with her two older sisters. Not even a year into Therese's acceptance, she had grown so ill with a fever that people thought she was on her death bed. Then one day while Therese saw her sisters praying to the Virgin Mary statue in her room, she saw Mary smile at her and was instantly cured. From that point on, "Little Flower" as she was commonly called, lived a re-enlightened and spiritual life that led to her becoming a doctor of the church, an author, and a patron saint.
According to the Church, a doctor is one who transmits the gospel, teaching by word and example and as of today there are only thirty-three Doctors of the Church. Of the two Carmelite Doctors, Saint Therese of Lisieux is one of them. Chosen as a Doctor of the Church because of her radiant holiness, humility, goodness, integrity, and radical dedication to God's will, these all were unmistakable seal's of her sanctity. Not only because of her sanctity, Therese also had a theological teaching that was original, faithful, and profound leaving a strong, lasting impression. Pope John Paul II saw this and on October 19, 1997 he declared Saint Therese of Lisieux a "Doctor of the Universal Church." That day marked a culmination of a series of honors that were bestowed upon her as a doctor ecclesiae. But the...
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