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 Saint Therese of the Child Jesus

of the Holy Face

"St. Therese - the Irish Visit (2001)" - the historic documentary of the visit of the reliquary of St. Therese to Ireland now released online - July 20, 2015

 An historic moment for the pilgrimage of the reliquary of St. Therese in the twenty-first century: "St. Therese: The Irish Visit (2001), the beautiful film made iwhen her relics, arrived on pilgrimage in Ireland, were venerated by three million people, 75% of the population of the country, has just been released online.The film is an hour and twenty-three minutes long, and worth every second.  Witness the historic departure of the relics from Lisieux in the care of the great apostle of St. Therese in ireland, Fr. Joseph Linus Ryan, O. Carm.; their arrival in Ireland, the preparation of the "Theresemobile" by Mr. Patrick Sweeney; and the reception at churches and monasteries all over Ireland, as well as the grand farewell and the return to Lisieux.  "Ireland has come closer to herself during this visit," one person said.  The profound spiritual power of Ireland's encounter with St. Therese in 2001 cannot be expressed in words, but this documentary is a window for you on that deep experience of prayer and contemplative encounter.  This beautiful film was produced by Power Pictures and the Louis and Zelie Martin Foundation in association with RTE. I thank them for making it available online.

The release of this documentary online is a great personal joy to me because the late Father Ryan was a good friend to me and magnanimously supported my work in the United States and online.  Thanks to the Internet, I had the joy of being the first to inform him that, in an interview in January 2008, Cardinal Saraiva Martins had announced that Louis and Zelie would be beatified that year.  Since, as Msgr. Lagoutte, then Rector of the Shrine at Lisieux, said, "Ireland has led the world in promoting the Cause of Louis and Zelie," I wrote to congratulate Fr.  Ryan.  To my surprise, he had known nothing of the announcement, but was overjoyed.  He called me that evening, and, when I asked what he was doing up in the middle of the night, he said "Oh, it's a big night here;we're telling everyone." May God reward him and his devoted partners in Ireland and in France. 

"Under the Veil of the Virgin: The Gradually Developing Relationship of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face to the Blessed Virgin Mary," by Rev. Christopher Armstrong. July 16, 2015

Icon of Our Lady of Mount Carmel by Br. Robert Lentz, O.F.M.

 In honor of the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, I have the honor of presenting a link to Under the Veil of the Virgin: The Gradually Developing Relationship of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face to the Blessed Virgin Mary."  This 1994 doctoral dissertation by Rev. Christopher Armstrong, a significant contribution to studies of St. Therese and Mary in English, was published in 1998 by Marian Library Studies: Vol. 26, Article 3, pp. 103-264 and is now online!

When, in 2012, I was preparing a conference on "Mary in the Life and Spirituality of St. Therese of Lisieux" for the OCDS National Congress, I reached out to Fr. Armstrong, who kindly sent me a copy of his dissertation.  I found it so fruitful that I'm overjoyed that the University of Dayton has now published it online.  Please do not be put off by the words "doctoral dissertation," for it is marvelously readable. I congratulate and thank Fr. Armstrong and the University of Dayton. Enjoy, and deepen your understanding of Therese!  

The finances of the Carmel of Lisieux (1888-1897), with an analysis by Claude Langlois published online. June 13, 2015

The Carmelite monastery at Lisieux translated into English its ledgers from the years St. Therese lived there (1888-1897) and published them at the Web site of the archives of the Carmel of Lisieux.  The French historian, Claude Langlois, wrote an analysis of the finances of the Lisieux Carmel which tells what we can learn about the Carmel's life and situation from these ledgers and what questions they raise.  I am delighted to announce this latest of the generous gifts the Lisieux Carmel is sharing on its Archives Web site.  How fortunate we are to see all these jewels that were  never before released! 

Did you know that:

  • in order to guarantee the survival of the community, the families of choir sisters were expected to pay board for their daughters during their novitiate; to contribute the cost of the ceremonies of clothing (reception of the habit) and profession; and to give a considerable dowry to provide for their nun-daughter's support?
  • during Therese's first four years at Carmel, the Marquise de Briges, a generous benefactor, contributed gifts totaling 56,000 francs, 35% of the community's annual budget?
  • The considerable dowries of the Martin sisters and the large inheritance the Carmel received in 1894 from the estate of Blessed Louis Martin did much to stabilize the Carmel's finances?  

Read more about the finances of the Lisieux Carmel, 1888-1897

90th anniversary of the canonization of St. Therese - May 17, 2015

To celebrate the 90th anniversary today of the canonization of St. Therese, which took place on May 17, 1925, the Web site of the Archives of the Carmel of Lisieux has posted photographs from 1925 of the canonization celebrations at Rome and at Lisieux.  Please click  to see the interior of the Lisieux Carmel decorated for the canonization of the young woman who, only 28 years before, had walked these halls as a hidden member of this little community.  See also the exterior of St. Peter's Basilica, illuminated with lamps for the first time since 1870, and photos of the canonization ceremony taking place in the interior. 

To recreate the events of May 17, 1925 still more vividly:

Read a description of the canonization of St. Therese in John Beevers' book Storm of Glory.  (Thanks to Hathitrust for digitizing it).

Read the Bull of Canonization and the homily of Pope Pius XI

St. Therese always longed to visit the Holy Land, and she corresponded with the Carmel in Jerusalem.  How fitting that her Carmelite sister, Mary of Jesus Crucified (Mariam Baouardy), together with three other 19th-century nuns, is being canonized in Rome today.  Read Pope Francis's homily in which he speaks of Sister Mariam as "a means of encounter with the Muslim world."  May these two women join with all the saints in interceding for peace in Palestine and throughout the whole world.

Pope Francis approves miracle for the canonization of St. Therese's parents

Little Carmen with her parents and Mgr Jacques Habert, bishop of Seez, in Valencia, Spain in May 2013. Courtesy of the Shrine at Alencon.

Please read my English translation of the press release from the Shrines of Alencon and Lisieux reporting that Pope Francis has approved the healing of little Carmen as the miracle necessary for the canonization of Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin. This communique, issued March 18, 2015, contains information about Carmen's healing never published before.

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