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St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Marie-Francoise-Thérèse Martin, the Little Flower of Jesus, was born on January 2, 1873. She was the youngest of nine children, only five of whom lived beyond early childhood. Thérèse spent her life surrounded by her four older sisters. She joined the Carmelite cloister in Lisieux at the age of fifteen.

Thérèse’s life as a nun was seemingly very ordinary and routine. She discovered that life was not easy in the convent of Lisieux, and that some of the nuns were coarse and difficult to live with. She knew that the nuns were not likely to change, so she had to decide how she would live within this environment. She discovered her “little way”: to accept that each person came ultimately from God and is loved forever by God. She would love them as best she could: a kind word, a smile, an assist when she was able. She played no favorites—she gave of herself even to the difficult members. She recognized that each day is a gift in which she could make a difference by the way she chose to live it.

Her "little way" seems to put holiness of life within the reach of ordinary people. It is called a “little way” precisely by being simple, direct, yet calling for amazing fortitude and commitment.