Mary-Frances-Teresa Martin was born at Alencon (France) on January 2, 1873. She was brought up in a most Christian family, and educated by the Benedictine nuns at Lisieux. Whilst still a child she felt drawn towards the cloister, and at the age of fifteen, after much petition, was allowed to enter the Carmelite convent in that town. At the age of twenty-four she slept sweetly in the peace of the Lord. The life of this young saint of Carmel is not distinguished by any heroic or very great deed. She simply served God with a constant and assiduous fidelity in little things. To her the words of our Lord are applied by the Church: "Unless you become as little children you shall not enter the Kingdom of heaven."
"I do not intend to remain inactive in heaven," this saint said on her death-bed, "I wish to go on working for the Church and for souls." "After my death I will let fall a shower of roses." "It is our Lord who is calling me to heaven and the hope of being able to love Him as I have so much desired to do, and the thought that I shall be able to make him loved by a number of souls who will praise him eternally." Apostolic virgin! such is the title which seems best to characterize St. Teresa of the Child Jesus. Like her seraphic patron and mother she desired to make the salvation of souls the object of her life in the cloister, and thus her whole life was a "sacrifice of love, a holocaust to merciful love". When she left Carmel for heaven she repeated her intention of continuing to be an apostle in eternity as she had been here on earth. "I feel that my mission is soon to begin," she said, "my mission to make others love the good God as I love Him ... to teach my little way to souls. I wish to spend my heaven in doing good upon earth. Nor is this impossible, since from the very heart of the beatific vision the angels keep watch over us. No, there can be no rest for me until the end of the world. But when the angel shall have said: "Time is no more!" then I shall rest, then I shall be able to rejoice, because the number of the elect will be complete". (Autobiography).
The humble "Little Flower" was beatified by Pius XI in 1923, twenty-six years after her death, canonized in 1925, and in 1927, proclaimed patroness of all Catholic Missions.
Let us offer the Holy Sacrifice in thanksgiving for all the graces bestowed on this saint, and let us receive our Lord in Holy Communion in order to partake, through Him, in the virtues which adorned her life.
Veni de Libano, sponsa mea, veni de Libano, veni: vulnerasti cor meum, soror mea sponsa, vulnerasti cor meum. * Laudate, pueri, Dominum: laudate nomen Domini.
Come from Libanus, my spouse, come from Libanus, come; thou hast wounded my heart, my sister, my spouse, thou hast wounded my heart. * Praise the Lord, ye children: praise ye the name of the Lord.
(Canticle 4:8-9 and Psalm 112:1 from the introit of Mass)
Domine, qui dixisti: Nisi efficiamini sicut parvuli, non intrabitis in regnum caelorum: da nobis, quaesumus; ita beatae Theresiae Virginis in humilitate et simplicitate cordis vestigia sectari, ut praemia consequamur aeterna.
O Lord, who hast said: Unless ye become as little children ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven: grant us, we beseech Thee, so to follow in humility and simplicity of heart, the footsteps of the blessed virgin St. Teresa, that we may obtain everlasting rewards.(Collect)
From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/17721a.htm