Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, January 2nd 1873 – September 30th 1897.
From the preface to the 1912 edition of The Story of a Soul by H.E. Cardinal Bourne, Archbishop of Westminster:
From the cradle all the Martin children were dedicated to Mary Immaculate, and all received her name: Marie Louise, Marie Pauline, Marie Léonie, Marie Hélène, who died at the age of four and a half, Marie Joseph Louis, Marie Joseph Jean Baptiste, Marie Céline, Marie Mélanie Thérèse, who died when three months old, and lastly, Marie Françoise Thérèse.
Zélie Martin’s whole ambition as a mother was directed to Heaven. “Four of my children are already well settled in life,” she once wrote; “and the others will go likewise to that Heavenly Kingdom enriched with greater merit because the combat will have been more prolonged.”
Never did her husband allow the meannesses of human respect to degrade his Christian dignity. In whatever company he might be, he always saluted the Blessed Sacrament when passing a church; and he never met a priest without paying him a mark of respect. A word from his lips silenced whoever dared blaspheme in his presence.
In that house the “Little Flower of Jesus” first saw the sunshine. Again and again, in the pages of her Autobiography, she calls herself by this modest name of the Little Flower, emblematic of her humility, her purity, her simplicity, and it may be added, the poetry of her soul. On the manuscript of her Autobiography she set the title: “The Story of the Springtime of a Little White Flower,” and in truth such it was, for long ere the rigours of life’s winter came round, the Flower was blossoming in Paradise.
Saint Thérèse, pray for us!