Tuesday, October 28, 2008

St. Therese Report

This is the St Therese report I wrote for confirmation!

Therese Martin was born in Alencon, France, on January 2, 1873. She was the daughter of Louis and Zelie Martin. Her mother, a lace-maker, died of cancer when Therese was four years old. Her father was a watch-maker. Her family had always been strong Catholics. Her parents have been declared Venerable by the Church and may be declared Blessed sometime this year. Therese herself became even more spiritual after having been cured by the Blessed Virgin smiling at her when she was around ten years old. She then, at the age of fourteen, had what she called a “spiritual conversion,” and she believed that in that instant she lost all childhood immaturity.
When Therese was fifteen, she wanted to join the Carmel as two of her four sisters had done already, including her “Little Mothers,” Pauline and Celine. Fifteen was underage for joining the Carmel, and Therese took her case to the Superiors. They told her to join when she was twenty-one and “all grown up.” She eventually became tired of waiting, so she, her father, and her other two sisters (The ones who had not yet joined the Carmel) went to Rome to be part of an audience with the Pope. The Pope she went to see was Pope Leo XIII. The people in the audience were reminded not to speak to His Holiness. Each person in the audience went up, and one by one, kissed the Pope’s hand, and received a blessing from him. When Therese went up to do the same, after she had received her blessing, she asked Pope Leo XIII for permission to join the Carmel underage. The tour guide was petrified that this young girl would disobey the rules and speak to His Holiness! The Pope himself must not have been as petrified as the tour guide, because he answered her, “If God wills it, you will join the Carmel.” I love that particular story about Therese. It shows how spontaneous and fun-loving the Saint was.
Therese received permission to join the Carmel. She was very happy about this great opportunity. When she was made a full-fledged nun, she wished for it to snow, even though it was the wrong time of year. As she and the other nuns left the church, there was snow falling in the courtyard. She followed her “Little Way” in the works and other things she did at the convent. She did small things for God, because she thought that she did not need to be recognized for her good deeds, as long as God knew. Therese’s other two sisters eventually joined the Carmel as well, after their father’s death. During the last few years of her life, under the direction of her spiritual director, Therese dictated her widely-read autobiography, “Story of a Soul.” Therese came down with tuberculosis at the age of twenty-four. She died on September 30, 1897, at the convent in Lisieux. She was venerated on August 14, 1921 by Pope Benedict XV, beatified on April 29, 1923 by Pope Pius XI, and canonized on May 17, 1925 by Pope Pius XI. Her feast day is October 1. She was declared a modern Doctor of the Church in 1997 by Pope John Paul II.
St. Therese greatly impresses me. She did not do anything big to become a saint; she merely made many small sacrifices. These small sacrifices helped her to fulfill her childhood dream of becoming a saint. Those barely noticeable sacrifices made by Therese are what make up the “Little Way” of St. Therese that so many people try to follow today. Therese was a subject of gossip at the convent, because she was so young to be in the Carmel. She put up with the gossip and worked extra hard to prove the gossipers wrong. She worked at the convent, shoveling, weeding, and doing many other tasks, even though she was weaker than many of the other nuns.
I should strive to be like Therese. I should try my best to offer up small things for God, much like Therese did. People do not need to know when I do good deeds, so long as God knows, because that is all that matters. I can pray daily for the souls in Purgatory, as Therese did. I am proud to have Therese as one of my Confirmation names. She is a great Saint to strive to be like.

1 comment:

Hannah said...

Hi I justed want to let you know that St. Terese parents Zelie and Louis Martin were beatified on October 19th. So they are now declared blseed!