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Anniversary of St. Therese's Offering to Merciful Love, June 9, 1895

 

119 years ago today, St. Therese of Lisieux spontaneously offered herself to Merciful Love on Trinity Sunday, June 9, 1895.  I've prepared an anniversary gift for you.  Please help me by unwrapping it: click where I indicate to see several documents and photographs related to the Offering on the Web site of the Archives of the Carmel of Lisieux.  Please bear with these paragraphs of unrelieved text, for the links are a doorway to beautiful images and words related to the Act.  These are but a taste of the treasures the Archives site is sharing with the world.

At the end of 1895, Therese wrote in her first autobiographical manuscript about the inspiration she had received to offer herself to Merciful Love. Thanks to the kindness of the Washington Province of Carmelite Friars and the Archives of the Carmel, you may see a photo of the handwritten manuscript and also read in English her description of how, on  the morning of June 9,1895, "I received the grace to understand more than ever how much Jesus desires to be loved."  She received this grace in the choir.  Within the next two days she wrote the Offering out; see the manuscript and the English text of her "Offering of myself as a Victim of Holocaust to the Merciful Love of God."   This prayer has often been called the "Act of Oblation," but, as you will see, that title is not from Therese; she wrote only "Offering of myself."  For all its solemnity, her written Offering retains its spontaneity; she did not write in formal terms like "Act of Oblation."  "We have nothing to fear from this Offering," she often declared happily.

To see Therese's appearance at about this time, see the photo of the Carmelites of Lisieux taken closest to this date; Therese is in the second row, second from left. 

The text of the Offering appears in Story of a Soul.  For a fuller understanding of the Offering and its significance in Therese's life and spirituality, I highly recommend the marvelous little book The Prayers of Saint Therese of Lisieux (Washington, D.C.: ICS Publications, 1996), which contains the text of the several copies and adds rich commentary.  I recommend it especially if you are thinking of offering yourself to Merciful Love with Therese and want to understand the offering better.  To "search inside" or for more information, please click on the text link or the image above.  The book also contains twenty other prayers written by Therese, and it brings her to life in a unique way.

To read more reflections on the offering right now, see my page "Offering of Myself to Merciful Love, June 9, 1895."  Blessings on the anniversary of this great day of grace.

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