Marie Francoise-Therese Martin, often referred to as “The Little Flower” was an influential model of sanctity for Catholics. At the age of 15 she felt a call to religious life and joined her two older sisters in becoming a nun. Although she needed to be 21 years of age to become a nun, this did not stop Therese, she was determined to become a nun regardless of her age. Therese was often sick and would undergo nervous tremors. Therese was known as the Little Flower; Therese was aware of her littleness. "It is impossible for me to grow up, so I must bear with myself such as I am with all my imperfections. But I want to seek out a means of going to heaven by a little way, a way that is very straight, very short and totally new." She took every chance to sacrifice, no matter how small it would seem. Therese wanted sanctity and to attain holiness to express her love to god, she believed that it was not necessary to accomplish great deeds. After 9 years as a Carmelite religious, having fulfilled various offices, Therese was suffering from tuberculosis and died at the age of 24. Therese of Lisieux is one of the patron saints of the missions, not because she ever went anywhere, but because of her special love of the missions, and the prayers and letters she gave in support of missionaries. Patron Saint of the Missions & the Roman Cathilkic Diocese of Fresno.

St. Therese of Lisieux (Little Flower)

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