THÁNH NỮ TÊRÊSA HÀI ĐỒNG GIÊSU, ngày 01/10
THERESE OF THE CHILD JESUS
Marie, Pauline, Leonie and Celine are the four daughters of Mr. Martin. They look so joyful gathered around their little sister Therese's crib! She has just been born here in Alencon, on January 2, 1873. She just like any other baby, but one day the whole day will come to know and love her as "Little Therese," the "Little Flower", "Saint Therese of the Child Jesus" and the "Holy Face."
Therese grows up surrounded by kindness from all her family. Her father called her "my little queen."
The girl is not always sweet tempered, but she gradually learns to correct her faults in order to please Jesus.
She’s happy to pray. She tells Jesus how much she loves him, thanks him for all the good things that happen and lets him know her troubles.
Sometimes Therese’s dad takes her fishing. The young girl admires nature and realizes that all the wonders of creation have been given to us because God loves us.
One day Pauline decides to become a Sister in the Lisieux Carmel. Therese is so sad to see her go that she becomes very ill. But one day when she is grieving she sees the statue of her Virgin Mary that is next to her bed smiling down at her and she soon becomes well again.
May 8, 1884, what a delight! Therese makes her First Communion. She calls it “The first kiss of Jesus for my soul.”
Afterward, both of her sisters, Pauline and Marie, enter the Carmel. Now Therese wants to be a sister too. Her father agrees, even though he is very upset at the idea of seeing her go.
But permission from her father isn’t enough because Therese is too young to enter a convent. She’s only 15 years old, and the bishop himself refuses to let her join the Carmel. Mr. Martin takes Celine and on pilgrimage to Rome.
At the Vatican, Therese dares to speak to the Pope and asks special permission to enter the Carmel at 15 years of age. He simply tells her, “If the Good Lord wants you to, you’ll enter…”
Back in Lisieux, Therese gets letter from the bishop giving his permission. She will be allowed to enter Carmel despite her young age.
At last, on April 9, 1888, Therese’s dream comes true. The door of the Carmel opens to welcome her in. soon she’ll belong completely to Jesus.
She now wears the clothing of a postulant. A postulant is a young woman who is beginning her religious life. She learns to spend her days in prayer and doing ordinary everyday jobs like the other Sisters.
The way Therese was accepted into the Carmel was exceptional. To stop things form going to her head, people are very strict with her. Some Sisters even make unpleasant remarks to her. She bears it all with a smile for the love of Jesus.
On January 10, 1889, even though being in bad health, Therese’s father comes to take part in a moving ceremony. His “little queen” is taking the habit. From now on she will wear the Carmelite dress.
Outside everything is covered in snow. Therese is happy. It’s as if, like her, all of mature has put on a white veil. From now on, she is known as "Sister Therese of the Child Jesus.”
It’s September 8, 1890, and Therese makes the vows that means she will give herself to Jesus for all of her life. Her white veil is replaced by a black one.
She knows that to love Jesus means loving the people that we live with. She tries to be friendly and helpful to all the Sisters, especially the most unpleasant ones.
Therese has artistic talent. She paints holy pictures or religious scene. She writes poems and plays that she performs with the Sisters.
The years pass. She is putting in charge of novices and she teaches them to stand before God like loving children standing before their Father who is so tender.
But Therese falls very ill. She gets more and more tired and she coughs a lot. Sister Agnes, the Superior, who is none other than her own sister Pauline, asks her to write down her life story. This account is destined to become a book entitled “The Story of a Soul.”
Therese finds it really hard to walk. But she forces herself to take a few steps and says, ‘I am walking for a missionary.” In fact, she often writes to two missionaries and tries to help them by praying and offering sacrifices to Jesus for them.
In July 1897, she has to go into the infirmary. She know her time is coming to an end and says, “I’m not dying; I’m entering into life.”
On September 30 that same year, her condition gets worse. Looking at her crucifix she cries out, “Oh! I love you…! My God, I love you!” These are her last words…
*THE END *