Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face is the youngest of all the "Doctors of the Church", but her ardent spiritual journey shows such maturity, and the insights of faith expressed in her writings are so vast and profound that they deserve a place among the great spiritual masters.FULL TEXT:THE APOSTOLIC LETTER DECLARING THERESE A DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
St. Therese of Lisieux was born Marie-Francoise-Therese Martin on January 2, 1873 in Alencon, France. She was baptized two days later on January 4th.St. Therese's mother died of breast cancer when Therese was four years old. The following winter her father moved his family to Lisieux, France. Therese of Lisieux's sister, Pauline, entered the Carmelite society.The sixteen year old sister became her second mother -- which made the second loss even worse when Pauline entered the Carmelite convent five years later. . Her sister, Celine, would join shortly before Therese and after their father's death, their sister, Marie, would join. Celine took her camera to the convent with her. So it is that St. Therese is the first saint to have her life told in photographs …pictures taken by her older sister.
Therese would only live another nine years. She lived them in the Carmelite Monastery at Lisieux. She made her profession of vows Sept, 8,1890 where she took the religious name 'Therese the Child of Jesus and the Holy Face'. She was diagnosed with tuberculosis and on July 1897 she was moved to the monastery infirmary. She died on September 30, 1897, at age 24. On her death-bed, she is reported to have said, "I have reached the point of not being able to suffer any more, because all suffering is sweet to me." Her last words were, "My God, I love Thee." It was also in those last days that she made her infinite promise, "After my death I will let fall a shower of roses. I will spend my Heaven doing good on earth."
During the last years of her life and during the final months of her confinement Therese wrote her autobiography,'The Story of a Soul'. After her death her sister edited story and it was finally published in 1898 with an original printing of two-thousand copies. Today the book remains a beloved best seller throughout the world. She also wrote two volumes of letters, some poems, prayers and eight plays.
Twenty-six years after her death Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face was beatified by Pope Pius XI, and in the year of Jubilee, 1925, she was canonized a saint. Two years later she was named heavenly patroness of foreign missions along with St. Francis Xavier.
On August 24, 1997 Pope John Paul II announced at the World Youth Day in France that Saint Therese Lisieux patron of the church was to be named a Doctor of the Church. There are only thirty-three Doctors of the Church. Not only is St. Theresa the youngest doctor she was the third woman to be proclaimed Doctor, together with St. Catherine of Sienna and St. Therese of Avila. Sources:http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=105and http://www.sttherese.webhero.com/
my life is but an instant
an hour that passes by
a single day that slips my grasp
and quickly slides away
Oh well,you know, my Dearest God, to love you
I only have today