Who is Saint Thérèse?

 
The statue of St. Thérèse - Shrine Information Centre

"I understood that all we accomplish, however brilliant, is worth nothing without love." - Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux (born Marie Françoise-Thérèse Martin; January 2, 1873 – September 30, 1897 in Alencon in France), or Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, O.C.D., was a French Discalced Carmelite nun widely venerated in modern times.

Whilst still young she entered the Discalced Carmel of Lisieux, where she lived in the greatest humility and evangelical simplicity and confidence in God. By word and example she taught the novices these same virtues.

She is popularly known as "The Little Flower of Jesus" or simply "The Little Flower". Thérèse has been a highly influential model of sanctity because of the "simplicity and practicality of her approach to the spiritual life. Offering her life for the salvation of souls and the spread of the Church, she died on September 30th 1897.

Together with Saint Francis of Assisi, she is one of the most popular saints in the history of the church. Pope Pius X called her "the greatest saint of modern times" while his successor, Pope Pius XI accorded her as the Patroness of the Gardens of Vatican City on 11 May 1927, granting her the title as the "Sacred Keeper of the Gardens'". She is a Doctor of the Church. 

Shrine of the Little Flower
On a wall in the little side chapel is the small Shrine of the Little Flower. Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, known as 'the Little Flower', was born in 1873 and died in 1897. She became a Carmelite nun when she was fifteen, and inspired many through her "Little Way" of simplicity and in the doing of small acts inspired by love.

The shrine at Faversham is rather unusual, because instead of presenting St. Thérèse, standing in isolated intercession and favour, she is linked up with Our Blessed Lady of Mount Carmel and the Holy Child. The roses which she distributes come to her from the Holy Child by favour of Our Blessed Lady. In other words, the Shrine links up St. Thérèse of Lisieux with Our Blessed Lady of Mount Carmel and the Holy Child. The shrine is particularly associated with the Society of the Little Flower (see below).


The Faversham Shrine of St. Thérèse, the "The Little Flower".

Society of the Little Flower

Before the Second World War, the Prior of the Carmelite friars at Faversham, Fr. Elias Lynch, O.Carm., established three 'Societies of Prayer', including The Society of The Little Flower in honour of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. These Societies continue to exist and are a very popular way for people to express their faith, participate in our Carmelite devotions, and support our ministry of service to God's people.

Join the Society by clicking on the image below.