Biography of St. Therese

St. Therese, the Little Flower of Jesus (1873-1897)

Our Parish Patron Saint

Therese Martin was the last of nine children born to Louis and Zelie Martin on January 2, 1873, in Alencon, France. However, only five of these children lived to reach adulthood. Precocious and sensitive, Therese needed much attention. Her mother died when she was 4 years old. As a result, her father and sisters babied young Therese. She had a spirit that wanted everything.

At the age of 14, on Christmas Eve in 1886, Therese had a conversion that transformed her life. From then on, her powerful energy and sensitive spirit were turned toward love, instead of keeping herself happy. At 15, she entered the Carmelite convent in Lisieux to give her whole life to God. She took the religious name Sister Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. Living a hidden, simple life of prayer, she was gifted with great intimacy with God. Through sickness and dark nights of doubt and fear, she remained faithful to God, rooted in His merciful love. After a long struggle with tuberculosis, she died on September 30, 1897, at the age of 24. Her last words were the story of her life: "My God, I love You!"

The world came to know Therese through her autobiography, "Story of a Soul". She described her life as a "little way of spiritual childhood." She lived each day with an unshakable confidence in God's love. "What matters in life," she wrote, "is not great deeds, but great love." Therese lived and taught a spirituality of attending to everyone and everything well and with love. She believed that just as a child becomes enamored with what is before her, we should also have a childlike focus and totally attentive love. Therese's spirituality is of doing the ordinary, with extraordinary love.

Therese saw the seasons as reflecting the seasons of God's love affair with us. She loved flowers and saw herself as the "little flower of Jesus," who gave glory to God by just being her beautiful little self among all the other flowers in God's garden. Because of this beautiful analogy, the title "little flower" remained with St. Therese.

Her inspiration and powerful presence from heaven touched many people very quickly. She was canonized by Pope Pius XI on May 17, 1925. Had she lived, she would have been only 52 years old when she was declared a Saint.

"My mission - to make God loved - will begin after my death," she said. "I will spend my heaven doing good on earth. I will let fall a shower of roses." Roses have been described and experienced as Saint Therese's signature. Countless millions have been touched by her intercession and imitate her "little way." She has been acclaimed "the greatest saint of modern times." In 1997, Pope John Paul II declared St. Therese a Doctor of the Church - the only Doctor of his pontificate - in tribute to the powerful way her spirituality has influenced people all over the world.

For more information on St. Therese, visit

Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin Canonized

The parents of Saint Therese of Lisieux, Louis and Zelie Martin, will be canonized on October 18, coinciding with the Synod on the Family, which takes place at the same time in the Vatican.

   “Thanks be to God…two spouses, parents of Saint Therese of Lisieux, will be canonized,” said Cardinal Angelo Amato, stressing the importance of sanctity in the family. “Saints are not only priests and nuns, but also lay people,” pointed out Cardinal Amato, referring to this exemplary French married couple.
   Married in 1858, they had nine children, five of whom followed the religious life. The 218 letters that are kept of Zelie, written from 1863 until her death in 1877, record the rhythm of life with the War of 1870, the economic crises, and the births and death of their four babies.
   Daily Mass at 5:30 a.m., Angelus and Vespers, rest on Sundays, fasting during Lent and Advent - but also jokes and games, as Louis liked to fish and play billiards. They invited poor people to dine in their home and they visited the elderly. They also taught their daughters to treat the underprivileged as equals.
   Zelie died of a very painful cancer at 46. Louis was left with five very young daughters: Marie, Pauline, Leonie, Celine and Therese, who was only four and a half years old, but who always remembered her Mother as a Saint. Louis died in 1894, after suffering a serious mental illness.
   Benedict XVI beatified both parents on October 19, 2008. Their canonization will be the first joint canonization of a married couple. Many have proposed their life of daily holiness as a model for our time.

St. Therese Feast Day Celebration 2013

Thank you to all who planned and joined in our parish feast day celebrations. May St.Therese continue to bless our parish and help us to remain faithful to the Lord and his people.

Parish Celebration of St. Therese, the Little Flower 2012

Little Flower Parish celebrated the feast day of our parish patroness, St. Therese of Lisieux during the
weekend Masses on October 6 and 7. Hospitality was held after the Sunday Masses.

A Little Way to Loving Big

In honor of the Feast of the Little Flower, on Monday, October 1, 2012, Fr. Norm Langenbrunner and Jeanne Hunt presented a talk, “St. Therese’s Little Way to Loving Big,” to about 40 parishioners and guests in the school cafeteria. To read more, click here.

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