Therese of Lisieux



"...even when I have nothing to offer
him, then... I will give him this nothing!"

I will spend my Heaven doing good on earth.


I have a great affection for Saint Therese, and a debt of gratitude to her for the insights she has opened up for me.
          You may have heard the story of the little girl who, upon visiting a church with her mother, was curious about the figures in the stained glass windows. Her mother explained that these were representations of Saints. This visit to the church and the stories that her mother told her about the figures in the windows left quite an impression on the young lady's mind. A while later, when her grade one teacher asked the class if anyone knew what a Saint was, her's was the first hand to shoot up. She offered what I consider to be an excellent definition - the best I have heard yet: "A Saint" she said, "is someone who lets the light shine through."
          Therese was "someone who let the light shine through". Her words and her life helped me, as it did for countless others, see more clearly who God is and who I am in relationship to God.


Quotations about Saint Thérèse


  • "Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face is the youngest of all the "doctors of the Church" , but her ardent spiritual journey shows such maturity, and the insights of faith expressed in her writings are so vast and profound that they deserve a place among the great spiritual masters
    Thérèse of Lisieux did not only grasp and describe the profound truth of Love as the centre and heart of the Church, but in her short life she lived it intensely. It is precisely this convergence of doctrine and concrete experience, of truth and life, of teaching and practice, which shines with particular brightness in this saint, and which makes her an attractive model especially for young people and for those who are seeking true meaning for their life." -- Pope John Paul II - in his homily on the day Thérèse was presented as doctor of the Church (Sunday October 19, 1997)

  • "On 30 September will occur the centenary of the death of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. Hers is a figure that, in her own country, cannot fail to draw the attention of a great many young pilgrims; Thérèse, precisely, is a young Saint, and her message today is simple and suggestive, brimming over with amazement and gratitude: God is Love; every person is loved by God, who expects to be welcomed and loved by each one.
    From the youth of Therese of the Child Jesus spring forth her enthusiasm for the Lord, the intensity of her love, the realistic daring of her great projects. The charm of her holiness is confirmation that God grants in abundance, even to the young, the treasures of her wisdom." -- John Paul II in his Message to young people for the 12th World Youth Day

  • "The paradox in Thérèse is the power of her powerlessness since it calls forth the might of God. The appeal of weakness is for divine strength to work in and through it. When we acknowledge our weakness, no longer demanding the right to be in control of our lives, divinepower becomes infinitely available to us." -- Margaret Dorgan: Thérèse of Lisieux: Mystic of the Ordinary

Quotations from Saint Thérèse


  • "I considered that I was born for glory and when I searched out the means of attaining it, [God] make[sic] me understand my own glory would not be evident to the eyes of mortals, that it would consist in becoming a great saint! This desire would certainly appear daring if one were to consider how weak and imperfect I was, and how, after seven years in the religious life, I still am weak and imperfect. I always feel, however, the same bold confidence of becoming a great saint because I don't count on my merits, since I have none, but I trust in Him who is Virutue [sic] and Holiness. God alone, content with my weak efforts will raise me to Himself and make me a saint." -- quoted in Margaret Dorgan: Thérèse of Lisieux: Mystic of the Ordinary

  • True charity consists in putting up with all one's neighbor's faults, never being surprised by his weakness, and being inspired by the least of his virtues. -- St. Therese of Lisieux

  • "Without love, deeds, even the most brilliant, count as nothing. -- Be not afraid to tell Jesus that you love Him; even though it be
    without feeling, this is the way to oblige Him to help you, and carry you like a little child too feeble to walk." --Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

  • " I feel in me the vocation of the Priest. I have the vocation of the Apostle. Martyrdom was the dream of my youth and this dream has grown with me. Considering the mystical body of the Church, I desired to see myself in them all. Charity gave me the key to my
    vocation. I understood that the Church had a Heart and that this Heart was burning with love. I understood that Love comprised all vocations, that Love was everything, that it embraced all times and a word, that it was eternal! Then in the excess of my delirious joy, I cried out: O Jesus, my vocation, at last I have found it...My vocation is Love!" -- Therese of Lisieux

  • "I am very glad I shall soon go to heaven, but I think of these words of God. 'I carry my reward with me to render to each according to his works,' I tell myself that in my case He will be quite embarrassed. I have no works! He will then be unable to render to me 'according to my works.' Well, He will then render to me according to His own works!"

  • "Everything is a grace, everything is the direct effect of our father's love — difficulties, contradictions, humiliations, all the soul's miseries, her burdens, her needs — everything, because through them, she learns humility, realizes her weakness — Everything is a grace because everything is God's gift. Whatever be the character of life or its unexpected events — to the heart that loves, all is well."

  • O Jesus, my Love, my vocation, at last I have found it ... my vocation is Love! Yes, I have found my place in the Church and it is You, O my God, who have given me this place; in the heart of the Church, my Mother, I shall be love.

    Resources on Saint Thérèse

    All of the links on Thérèse of Lisieux given above as well as several others can be found on one of the pages of my Web site. Click here to see this page.


               For brief biographical material on Saint Thérèse of Lisieux see the following Web pages:

    Catholic Online has a short biography of Thérèse

Related: Resources on Therese of Lisieux