December 8, 2008
Born on January 2nd, 1873, in the Normandy Region of France, Saint Theresa of the Little Flower had a very regular childhood. She tragically lost her mother at age four, and from then on her father was very protective of her and her sisters. Her father spoiled her to keep her happy. Months after her mother’s death, Theresa also became very ill. She prayed to Mary for a cure to her sickness, and suddenly she was cured. Through a “conversion,” thirteen-year-old Theresa felt called to enter the Carmelite Convent just as her two older sisters, but was unable because of her young age. She was told that she would be permitted to enter the convent at age sixteen, but she was too eager and fought with her father at her side, all the way to the pope in Rome. Her perseverance paid off because she became a Carmelite at the age of fifteen, and took the name Theresa of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. Her father and many sisters were so happy for her.
As a Carmelite nun, one of Theresa’s main duties was to pray for the priests, and she did so with extreme passion. God’s spirit worked so powerfully through Theresa; however, she wished for so long that she could become a missionary until she realized that her vocation was love. She focused on doing all the “simple things” of life well with an enormous amount of love. She believed that “everything is grace,” meaning we could experience God’s face in every person and situation in our lives. Theresa’s little, everyday sacrifices as a novice actually made up for the larger ones, for they went unnoticed by everyone. Theresa worried that because she was merely a novice, she would never become a saint, as she dreamed.
Theresa developed tuberculosis in 1896, and started to become very sick. She suffered so much pain, but her faith gave her the strength to continue acting cheerful. Theresa dreamed that after death, she would continue to help people on...
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