The story of St. Therese's life

Her Parents


On Sunday, October 18, 2015, Pope Francis presided at Mass in St. Peter’s Square which included the Rite of Canonization for Sts. Zelie and Louis Martin.  

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Her Early Years


Marie-Francoise-Therese Martin was born on January 2, 1873, and baptized two days later on January 4th. "All my life, God surrounded me with love. My first memories are imprinted with the most tender smiles and caresses...Those were the sunny years of my childhood." Thus Therese, twenty-one years later, described her home life in Alencon, France. "My happy disposition," she added with characteristic candor, "contributed to making my life pleasing." 

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Her School Years


In October, 1881, Louis enrolled his youngest daughter (Therese) as a day boarder at Lisieux's Benedictine Abbey school of Notre-Dame du Pre. Therese hated the place and stated "the five years (1881 - 1886) I spent there were the saddest of my life." She worked hard, and loved catechism, history and science, but had trouble with spelling and mathematics. Her keenness aroused the envy of many fellow pupils, and Therese paid dearly for her academic successes.

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Life at Lisieux Carmel


Marie Martin, the oldest daughter of the family, joined her sister Pauline at the Lisieux Carmel in 1886. Leonie Martin entered the Visitation Convent at Caen the following year. Therese then sought permission from her father to join Marie and Pauline at the Lisieux Convent. Three of his girls had already entered religious life, but Louis, characteristically generous, not only granted Therese's request, but worked zealously to help her realize it.

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Important Dates


Dates of note in the life of St. Therese

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