St. Thérèse was born on January 2, 1873 in France. After her mother died, her father and older sisters raised her. In 1886, on Christmas Day, Thérèse had an experience of intimate union with God. A year later, Pope Leo XIII gave her permission to enter the Carmelite Monastery at 15 years old.
Thérèse devoted herself to a life of holiness. She had a childlike trust in God, and although she struggled in the convent, she tried to perform acts of charity and sacrifice, no matter how small they were.
In her autobiography, “Story of a Soul,” Thérèse wrote that her vocation was Love. She was called to show God’s love to the world. In 1896, she fell ill with tuberculosis, and offered her sufferings as a sign of love for God. She died a year and a half later at the age of 24; her last words were, “My God, I love you.”
Thérèse’s “little way” of loving God has inspired millions, and she is said to have interceded in many miraculous ways. She was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1997 by Pope John Paul II, 100 years after she died.