In 1882, Dr Gayral diagnosed that Thérèse "reacts to an emotional frustration with a neurotic attack." An alarmed, but cloistered, Pauline began to write letters to Thérèse and attempted various strategies to intervene. Eventually Thérèse recovered after she had turned to gaze at the statue of the Virgin Mary placed in Marie's room, where Thérèse had been moved. She reported on May 13, 1883 that she had seen the Virgin smile at her. She wrote: "Our Blessed Lady has come to me, she has smiled upon me. How happy I am." However, when Thérèse told the Carmelite nuns about this vision at the request of her eldest sister Marie, she found herself assailed by their questions and she lost confidence. Self-doubt made her begin to question what had happened. "I thought I had lied - I was unable to look upon myself without a feeling of profound horror." "For a long time after my cure,I thought that my sickness was deliberate and this was a real martyrdom for my soul."  Her concerns over this continued until November 1887.
During her illness, Thérèse occupied the room with the statue of Our Lady, and it stood beside her bed. When her pains were less serious, she would often look at the statue and pray that Heaven would send her a cure.
On Sunday May 13, 1883, Theresa became so ill that she did not recognize her sisters. Marie felt sure that little Theresa was dying, and throwing herself on her knees before their beloved statue of Our Lady, she begged Our Lady to cure Theresa. Leonie and Celine joined in with their prayers, as well, begging the Blessed Virgin Mary to have pity on their poor, sick, little sister. Suddenly the statue seemed to come alive—and Our Lady appeared to little Theresa. Our Lady's face glowed with a glorious beauty, but it was her wonderful smile, which filled the girl with joy. Our Lady's smile was like a warm ray of sunshine. Two large tears of joy rolled down Theresa's cheeks, and she thought, "Ah! The Blessed Virgin...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document