Saint Therese of the Child Jesus
of the Holy Face
A film of the veil St. Therese wore for her audience with the Pope, and an interview with Fr. Francois-Marie Lethel, O.C.D. (with English voice-over) about St. Therese as a doctor of the Church
Advance to 21:27 of the October 14, 2014 episode of EWTN's "Vaticano" to see four minutes of film of the Church of St. Therese of the Child Jesus in Rome, where the black lace veil the fourteen-year-old Therese wore for her audience with the Pope on November 20, 1887 is on display. The veil was made by her mother, Blessed Zelie Martin, who was a manufacturer of point d'Alencon lace. This is followed by a filmed interview with the French Carmelite friar Fr. Francois-Marie Lethel, O.C.D., who was engaged in the ecclesial proceedings that led to St. Therese's being named a Doctor of the Church in 1997. He reflects on the significance of her doctorate. Fr. Lethel preached the Lenten retreat to Pope Benedict and his household in 2011, and this is a rare chance for the English-speaking world to hear his thoughts on St. Therese.
Note that this church ceased to be a parish church in 2011, but many people still visit it out of devotion to St. Therese. If you're in Rome and want to visit it, it is known as the "Church of St. Therese of the Child Jesus in Panfilo," in the Princiano Quarter, and is located at Via Gaspare Spontini 17 in Rome. See a map. The church's Facebook page. More information about the Church of St. Therese of the Child Jesus in Rome.
"The Philadelphia Carmel as the Birthplace of Devotion to St. Therese of Lisieux in the United States, Part II: The Relationships Between the Carmels of Philadelphia and Lisieux," Sunday, December 7, 2014 Day of Prayer at the Philadelphia Carmel
Download the flyer
Visit the Web site "Discalced Carmelites of Philadelphia."
For Dorothy Day's birthday, November 8: her reprinted book "Therese: The Story of Saint Therese of Lisieux"
Dorothy Day's classic book Therese: The Story of Saint Therese of Lisieux, in which Dorothy shares how Therese entered and re-entered her life, how she finally became devoted to Therese, and how Therese and the Martin family inspired her in the Catholic Worker movement, has been reprinted. Dorothy was born on November 8, 1897, about five weeks after Therese's death on September 30, 1897.
About eight years after Dorothy died, I had the honor of speaking at the Catholic Worker in New York about St. Therese. Many friends and former co-worker's of Dorothy's came back to the house for the occasion, and the evening truly brought Dorothy's devotion to Therese to life for me. To celebrate Dorothy's birthday by learning more about the book or purchasing it, click on the image below:
To learn more about Dorothy Day, please see, thanks to Fr. James Martin, S.J., text, photos, and a video about her. May she, with Therese, continue to draw "little souls" to the Heart of Christ.
The doctors of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints have declared that the healing of little Carmen, whose unexplained recovery from a brain hemorrhage soon after she was born is the "presumed miracle" submitted for the canonization of Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin, cannot be explained by the intervention of medicine. Read more at our companion site, Blessed Zelie and Louis Martin, The Parents of St. Therese of Lisieux.
The Carmelites of Lisieux present a four-minute film in English of the recreation room St. Therese knew. Click on the image above or click here to see it.
The daily schedule of the Lisieux Carmel allowed an hour of communal recreation after lunch and again after supper. This was one of the few times the nuns were free to speak. In the summer, recreation was often spent in the "chestnut walk" (see the photo on the wall above, where Therese, with the statue of the Child Jesus, was photographed with her sisters), but in the winter and cooler seasons it was in this room on the ground floor, called the "warming room" (le chauffoir) because, unlike the other rooms in the monastery, it had a fireplace.
Many incidents reported by Therese or her Carmelite sisters took place in this room, and all her religious plays were produced here. Perhaps the most historic moment was a conversation among Therese and her sisters Marie and Pauline that led to Therese's writing her memoir, "Story of a Soul," which has transformed so many lives. Pauline, who was prioress at the time, testified in 1910:
One winter's evening early in 1895 (two and a half years before Sister Therese's death), I was chatting with my two sisters, Marie and Therese, and the latter was telling us a lot of stories about her childhood. "Mother," said Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart [Marie Martin], "what a pity we haven't got all that in writing! If you asked Sister Therese of the Child Jesus to write down her childhood memories for us, I'm sure we'd find them very entertaining." "I couldn't ask for anything better," I replied. Then I turned to Sister Therese, who was laughing at what she took to be a bit of leg-pulling, and said "I order you to write down all your childhood memories."
St. Therese of Lisieux by those who knew her, testimonies from the process of beatification, edited and translated by Christopher O'Mahony. Dublin: Veritas Publications, 1975, p. 33.
This conversation, at which the fourth sister, Celine, was not present, took place during the holidays after Christmas 1894; it could have been on Therese's twenty-second birthday, January 2, 1895.
See two early photos of this room at the Web site of the Archives of the Carmel of Lisieux.
We congratulate and thank the Carmel of Lisieux and the Association of the friends of St. Therese and of her Carmel, which produced this film. Thanks to their generosity and accomplishment, we can see without leaving home what the pilgrims who have flocked to Lisieux since Therese's death could not see: the rooms where, in her adventure of faith, she allowed God, "content with my weak efforts, to raise me to Himself and make me a saint, clothing me with His infinite merits."