Therese Martin, future Saint Therese of Lisieux, was born on January 2, 1873 in Alecon, France. By the age of 15 she had decided upon becoming a cloistered Carmelite after wanting to follow in the footsteps of her sisters but was refused by the Carmelite superior because of her young age. After also being denied entrance by the bishop, Therese even approached Pope Leo XIII while on a pilgrimage with her father and sister. After being forbidden to speak to the Pope, Therese broke the mandatory silence and begged for his approval to be accepted into the Carmelite cloister. Pope Leo XIII was impressed with Therese and she was soon accepted into the cloister and was finally able to join up with her two older sisters. Not even a year into
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Throughout Therese’s life at the Carmelite cloister, she kept a journal that contained letters and enteries that would later consist of her autobiography. These brief, edited versions of her enteries made up her autobiography and was entitled L’histoire d’une ame, meaning Story of a Soul, which was only published after her death. Although Saint Therese was credited as being a Doctor of the Church for her writings, she had an imperfect literary style and a constant overusage of metaphors in her writing due to limited schooling. Her older sister Pauline actually put together and edited Therese’s writings and sent two-thousand copies to nearby convents. A copy later got sent to a publisher and her writings and prayers can easily be shared today with the world.
Saint Therese of Lisieux is also known as the Patron of the Missions and her feast day is celebrated on October 1st every year. Although Therese herself never was apart of a mission or attended one, her special love, prayers, and letters supported the missions and attest to why she is now called the Patron Saint of the Missions. Although none of her actions were that significant, great, or memorable, her effort and dedication towards the missions were little things that remind all of us that feel useless and unable to help out that little things keep us growing and do make a