Thérèse Martin, otherwise known as Thérèse of Lisieux, was born in France in 1873. She became a cloistered nun of the Carmelite Order at the age of 15. She died nine years later at the age of 24. She was canonized a saint in 1925. In the Catholic tradition, we honor and imitate saints like St. Thérèse, just as we would anyone we love and who has outstanding characteristics. Saints, like St. Thérèse, are never worshiped. Rather we ask them to pray with us and for us as we might ask someone here on earth for prayers of support.
Thérèse is known for her “little way”. In her autobiography, The Story of a Soul, she wrote that what really mattered in life was not our great deeds, but our great love. She believed that the God of mercy had a special love for “ordinary” people, including herself. Through personal example and unshakable confidence in God’s love, St. Thérèse put into practice her belief that opportunities for loving occur most often in the ordinary events of one’s life, and through these happenings we are called to choose to love others with God’s help, and to grow into wholeness and holiness. The message of St. Thérèse, now known throughout the world, teaches us that no one has to earn God’s love. God loves us first and the purpose of life is to respond to this love.