Saint Thérèse of Lisieux was born on January 2, 1873 and she died on September 30, 1897, or Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, born Marie-Françoise-Thérèse Martin, was a French Carmelite nun. She is also known as "The Little Flower of Jesus" or simply, "The Little Flower".
Devotion to Therese has been wide spread and she has had some famous devotees such as Albino Lucini (Pope John-Paul I), singer Edith Piaf and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. Stories of her miraculous intercession abound, a particularly famous account is the cure of Edith Piaf through the intercession of Therese.
At the age of 7/8 years old Edith had an inflammation of the cornea (keratin) which for three years had been making her gradually blind. Louise, her grandmother, was a cook in a brothel in Bernay in the province of Eure (not far from Lisieux) and the child was looked after by the women who lived there. They were devastated by her handicap until somebody related a miracle which had become the talk of the town in 1908: the cure of Reine Fouquet, 4½ years old, who also had a keratin. Coming from a working class area of Lisieux she had been cured on the 26th March 1908 having prayed at the grave of Thérèse in the cemetery of Lisieux. “If Thérèse cured the little Fouquet girl she will have to cure my Edith” said the grandmother and off she went with Edith and the women from the house. Taking the train for Lisieux, they climbed up to the cemetery on the hill, as did the thousands of soldiers during the 1914/18 war. They prayed, they returned home with some clay and each evening at Bernay they put a clay bandage on the child’s eyes and lo and behold eight days later Edith was cured. For the rest of her life Piaf held a particularly strong devotion to St.Therese of Lisieux.
St. Therese is quoted as having promised “I will spend my heaven doing good upon earth” “After my death I will let fall from heaven a shower of roses”
The “roses” that Saint Therese referred to in the prophecy quoted above: is the term which she used to describe her miracles and favours.
Prayer to St Therese of the Child Jesus
St. Therese, the little flower, please pick me a rose from the heavenly garden and send it to me with a message of love. Ask God to grant me the favour I thee implore and tell Him I will love Him each day more and more. Amen.
People often light pink or yellow candles in devotion to Therese when asking for favours or miraculous healing intercessions. However for court cases and times of despair often brown candles (echoing her Carmelite Habit) are burnt alongside the yellow or pink candles whilst petitioning this wondrous saint.
Such is her fame that here is a small list of her Patronages:
- against bodily ills
- against illness
- against sickness
- AIDS patients
- air crews
- aircraft pilots
- Belgian air crews
- flower growers
- loss of parents
- sick people
This list is far from exhaustive, but it gives you some idea of her power as intercessor. In addition, St. Therese is one of the few female Doctors of The Church.