St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus

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It took a while to write on the little flower, Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, this time around on her feast day. Her story is well known, as is her writing. To write a simple biography did not seem to do her justice. After a bit of thought about her, and along with a little reading, I slowly began to think of her feast day not as an isolated day of the week, but rather I thought of it by what it was surrounded by. It was surrounded by the feast of the three angels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael; and it also was at the time of the feast of the Guardian Angels. Therese is surrounded by angels on her feast day as she was certainly surrounded by Angels during her life. Though her life was short, she died at 24, but it was a life guided by devotion. Hers was a life of profound innocence, even though in her life she did know suffering. Her mother died when she was 4 years old, and Therese herself was stricken with tuberculosis. Her story though was marked by her simple innocent acts of holiness that often went unnoticed by those around her. One was her use of sacrifice beads, a small string of inconspicuous beads she used to count off presents she offered to Jesus. Those presents usually were simple acts of kindness to someone around her, so subtle yet so meaningful, they likely went unnoticed. Her devotion truly was one of love.

In reading a little on this saint I also noticed that her sister Celine was a photographer, as was her cousin Marier Guerin. The interesting point about these photographers is that they frequently recorded the life both of the little flower and her fellow Carmelite nuns. It also is interesting the time of Therese’s life was also the time photography was born. She likely is one of the first Saints to have their picture taken. The little Kodak Brownie dates from around 1888, when Therese would have been 15 years old.

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