About Maureen O’Riordan

Maureen O'Riordan

Maureen O’Riordan, a student of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, lives in Philadelphia.  She is a graduate of Little Flower High School in Philadelphia and Bryn Mawr College, and served in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.  Maureen is fascinated by St. Thérèse, who achieved such breakthroughs in what is possible for human beings in their relationships with one another and with God.  She has a great desire to share the spirituality of St. Thérèse and of her family, and has been researching, writing, and speaking on this topic for thirty years.  She has presented courses, conferences, and retreats to parish, school, Carmelite, and retreat groups in eight states and in France.  In 2007 she founded the comprehensive Web site “Saint Thérèse of Lisieux: A Gateway,” which explores many aspects of Thérèse’s life, spirituality, writings, and mission.  She is the author of  Praying for Priests with St. Thérèse of Lisieux (Catholic Truth Society, Great Britain, 2009) and of many articles about St. Thérèse and the Martin family.

In early 2008, when it became clear that Thérèse’s parents, Louis and Zèlie Martin, would be declared blessed that year, Maureen began a campaign to make them better known in English and to publicize their lives, spirituality, and  beatification.  On October 15, 2008, she was a delegate from the United States at their beatification ceremony in Lisieux.  In 2013 she launched the Web site now called “Saints Louis and Zélie Martin, the Parents of St. Thérèse  of Lisieux.”

That same year, knowing the importance of the life of Thérèse’s sister, Léonie Martin (Sister Françoise-Thérèse of the Visitation), Maureen founded the Web site “Léonie Martin, Disciple and Sister of St. Thérèse of Lisieux.”  Thanks to the generosity of the Visitation nuns of Caen and of others, many important documents and articles translated from the French appear there.  The cause of Léonie’s beatification was formally opened by the diocese of Bayeux and Lisieux on July 2, 2015 in the chapel of the Visitation monastery at Caen.

In 2013, through the generosity of the Magnificat Foundation; the Carmel of Lisieux; and the former rector of the Shrine at Lisieux, Mgr Bernard Lagoutte, the reliquary of the Martin family (Sts. Louis and Zélie and St. Thérèse) sculpted by Fleur Nabert was entrusted to the Discalced Carmelite nuns of Philadelphia, where the faithful venerate it in their chapel.  To celebrate this grace, the monastery sponsored a monthly day of prayer throughout 2014, and Maureen presented a different conference each month about some aspect of the life and spirituality of then-Blessed Louis and Zélie.  She also spoke on how the Carmelite Monastery, founded in Philadelphia in 1902, became the birthplace of devotion to St. Thérèse in the United States. 

In 2015, in conjunction with the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, the reliquary of the Martin family returned to the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul for the veneration of the faithful.  During that week Maureen presented six conferences about the spirituality of the Martin family in the Cathedral.

Maureen was the first to write in English about the healing of the newborn Carmen Perez Pons in Spain, a healing attributed to the intercession of Blessed Louis and Zélie and later accepted as the miracle for their canonization.  Saints Louis and Zélie Martin are the first saints canonized as a couple, and Maureen had the joy of being present at their canonization ceremony in Rome on October 18, 2015.  She has spoken about them on the radio and on Canadian television.

Maureen continues to curate her three Web sites, each of which has a corresponding Facebook page with the same name as the Web site.  She is a member of Old St. Mary’s Church in central Philadelphia, where she lives.

Selected Presentations

About Saint Therese

  • “A Map of St. the Way of Confidence and Love of St. Therese of Lisieux”
  • "Praying with Therese"
  • "How Can We Love One Another?  Therese's Practice of Sisterly Love in Her Carmelite Community"
  •  “'More Mother than Queen': Mary in the life and spirituality of St. Thérèse and of her family."
  • "Saint Therese as a Spiritual Director: Her Relationships with Her Novices and Her Spiritual Brothers"

About Saints Louis and Zelie Martin and their family 

  • “Saints Louis and Zélie Martin: a couple made holy in, through, and by marriage.  What can we learn from them?  How can they inspire us?”
  •  “The marital spirituality of Saints Louis and Zélie Martin: spouses carrying each other to God”
  • “The challenge of being a Christian mother: Saint Zélie Martin and the spiritual formation of children”
  • “Saint Louis Martin, the ‘incomparable father’ of St. Thérèse: how can he help Christian fathers today?”
  • “The role of the child in the life and spirituality of St. Thérèse and of her family”
  • “Sickness and health in the Martin Family, and how St. Thérèse and her parents intercede for healing”
  • “The Eucharist as source and summit of the life of the Martin family”
  • “Saints Louis and Zélie Martin, ministers of charity and justice:  loving and serving Christ in our neighbor and in the poor”

Selected Venues

  • Maryhouse, the Catholic Worker house in New York City
  • The Little Portion Retreat and Training Center sponsored by the Brothers and Sisters of Charity, Eureka Springs, Arkansas
  • The Upper Room Spiritual Center, Neptune, New Jersey
  • The Congress of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites, Wakefield, Massachusetts
  • The Monastery of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns in Philadelphia
  • The Carmel of the Incarnation, Beacon, New York
  • St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus Parish in Philadelphia
  • The Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, Philadelphia

 Selected Publications

Booklets

Praying for Priests with St. Thérèse of Lisieux (Catholic Truth Society, Great Britain, 2009)

“The Lilies and the Rose: St. Thérèse, Her Parents, and Philadelphia” (Carmelite Monastery of Philadelphia, 2013)

Selected Articles

"Tracing the Lives of Zelie Guerin and Louis Martin" in Carmelite Review, Volume 47, No. 4, Fall 2008. 

The Abysses of  Love and Mercy of the Heart of Jesus: Saint Thérèse of Lisieux and the Sacred Heart of Jesus” published by the Apostleship of Prayer on its Web site in 2009

"Vatican to investigate 'presumed miracle' attributed to Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin, the parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Will the healing of little Carmen make them saints?" for "Saints Louis and Zélie Martin, the Parents of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, May 28, 2013

"Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin, The Parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux: A Step Closer to Canonization" in Carmelite Review, Volume 52, No. 13, Summer/Fall 2013, page 12

Selected Media Mentions

Sibling-Inspired Sanctity: St. Therese and Leonie Show How Brothers and Sisters Cultivate Kindred Holiness," April 19, 2015, in the National Catholic Register.  Maureen was interviewed by Register Correspondent Katie Warner for this story about how St. Therese and her sister Leonie inspired each other to holiness; it includes accounts of other siblings who did the same.

"Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin, the Parents of St. Therese of Lisieux: Witnesses of Hope."  Maureen was interviewed by Frances Harry about the life, spirituality, and significance of the Martin spouses for the radio show Carmelite Conversations, February 23, 2015.

The Canonization of Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin.” Maureen was interviewed by Frances Harry about the history of the cause for canonization of the Martin spouses and the miracles which led to their beatification and canonization for the radio show Carmelite Conversations, July 13, 2015.