The Patron of STA



The story is told that when Therese Martin was a little child, while she and her father were returning one Sunday from Church, Therese looked up to the Heavens and saw the constellation, “Orion”, which appeared to her as the letter “T”, the initial of her name. She told her father that this symbolized her name            written in heaven. In any case, however, the childish words were fulfilled, for the rise of this bright new star in the firmament of the Church has been as astounding phenomenon in our time. She is a modern saint, a saint of the common people, and one whose life is well-known. 


She was born on January 2, 1873 at Alencon, France.   Her parents Louis Martin who worked in the army of Napoleon and a watchmaker by trade and Zelie Guerin, a gentlewoman who was very adept in the art of making lace.

Her mother died when she was four and a half years of age and she had her schooling with the Benedictine Nuns. From childhood, Therese Martin had wished to become a saint and her pious father did everything to encourage her by his understanding, his love, and his own good example.


At 14, when her eldest sister entered the Carmelite Convent and another sister followed, she became obsessed with the idea of doing the same. Because of her age, she encountered opposition from the Prioress at Carmel and the local Bishop. When she was in a pilgrimage to Rome, she had the boldness to appeal to the Holy Father himself, Pope Leo X111. After persistent entreaties, she won her case and she entered the Carmelite Novitiate at Lisieux on April 9, 1888.


On February 1893, she was made Asst. to the Mistress of Novices. All her years she never lost sight of the purpose of her life which was “I have come to Carmel to save souls and to pray for priests.” She developed her “little way to sanctify.”

On April 3, 1896, she began to cough up blood- she then had tuberculosis and died on September 30, 1897 at the age of 24 years and nine months.


She was canonized a Saint of the Roman Catholic Church on May 17, 1925. She was named Patroness of the Missions, and on May 3, 1944, the late Pope Pius X11 proclaimed her the secondary Patron of France.




            a.         “I will spend my Heaven doing good on earth.”


b.         “God will have to do whatever I want in heaven because I have never followed my own will on earth.”


c.         She had an undying love for Missions. She had an interesting statement which might be called her “spiritual statistics.” “Zero, by itself has no value, but put alongside one, it becomes very potent, provided it is put on the proper side AFTER and not BEFORE.”


Let us be encouraged by what Pope Benedict XV said: “There is a call to all the faithful of every nation, no matter what be their age, sex or state in life, to enter wholeheartedly into the little way which led Saint Therese to the summit of heroic virtue.” 

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