By Maya Kirl (Rated G)
Therese Martin was a great and selfless person. The doctors said that Therese wouldn’t make it when she was born in 1873. Little did they know that just a year later, she would be as healthy as a little child could be. She said that she was surrounded by love during her childhood. Her first memories were tender and happy. Though in her upbringing, she was quite spirited and stubborn, causing her parents trouble as she was growing up. Therese thrived in her religious home, delighting in learning more about prayer, liturgy and her own love for Jesus. Her mother died when she was just four years old and her father then moved all of his daughters to Lisieux, France. Therese spoke seriously about this time in her life, saying that it was the most painful part of her life. When Therese was about ten years old, she decided to join her older sister Pauline at Lisieux’s Carmelite Convent, but the nuns told her she was too little and to come back when she was older. Later, she took a trip to Italy with her family and snuck away to go and ask the Pope for his blessing for her to enter the convent even though she was fifteen. He granted her permission and she had never been happier. She settled easily into life at Carmel and loved her time of prayer and liturgy. Soon though, it was evident that she had tuberculosis. While she was in the hospital, she spent time writing out her life story. She passed away at age 24 in September of 1897. Her autobiography was published in 1898 and pilgrims started to visit her gravesite at Carmel. Her canonization was in May of 1925, and she was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope John Paul II. St. Therese lived a humble life with a family that loved her dearly. She was surrounded by people who believed in her mission to spread the love of God to everyone she crossed paths with. She knew early that she wanted to dedicate her life to Christ, and so she did. She is seen as an inspiration to others that age doesn’t matter in spreading the Gospel and loving others as Christ does. She taught the world that one can become a great saint by doing small, every day things with great love.