List of devotees of St. Thérèse of Lisieux

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Over the years, a number of prominent people have become devotees of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. These include:

Statue of St. Thérèse at the Most Holy Trinity Church, Fulnek, Czech Republic
  • Pope Francis - "When I have a problem I ask the saint, not to solve it, but to take it in her hands and help me accept it."
  • Pope John Paul I - "Dear little Thérèse , I was seventeen when I read your autobiography. It struck me forcibly...Once you had chosen the path of complete dedication to God, nothing could stop you: not illness, nor opposition from outside, nor the mists or inner darkness."
  • Mother Teresa of Calcutta, originally called Agnes, explained her choice of the name Teresa as follows: "I chose Thérèse as my namesake because she did ordinary things with extraordinary love"[1] She and St. Thérèse were both deeply drawn by the words of Christ on the Cross: "I thirst."[2]
  • Maximilian Kolbe dedicated his Asian missions to St. Therese. [3]
  • Maria Valtorta - Catholic mystic wrote: "The little flower has taught me that God is loved with rose petals - with small sacrifices made out of love."[4]
  • Maria Candida of the Eucharist - Was inspired by reading The Story of a Soul''.[5]
  • Edith Piaf - French singer - "Shortly after her birth Edith developed a cataract. She was blind for almost three years. Her grandmother, Louise, took her to Lisieux. She saw. It was a real miracle for Edith. She always believed this. Since that time she had a real devotion to St Thérèse of the Child Jesus...she always had a small picture of the saint on her bedside table." (Simone Berteaut, Edith Piaf's closest friend).[6]
  • Lucie Delarue-Mardrus - French writer - "the Carmelite-apparition..appeared, roses in hand, in the midst of an era which grieves and terrifies poets...Thérèse is my fellow-countrywoman, and almost my contemporary. I do not wish to let her glorious entry into sanctity pass by without honoring her in my own way. And besides, she is henceforth public property." (Introducing her book, 1926, on Thérèse).
  • Marc Sangnier - Founder of Le Sillon - "May Thérèse from on high support us and show us how to be more one with Jesus."
  • Delia Smith - British cookery writer - "Thérèse ..not only personified the first beatitude but is, I am deeply convinced, the supreme teacher in regard to the spiritual life."[7]
  • Louise Brooks - American dancer and actress - "Her spiritual trek was guided by two New York City priests, whom she saw with increasing frequency in late 1952 and early 1953, and by a book about the life of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, Storm of Glory by John Beevers. So enamored of Saint Thérèse was Louise that she spent one entire Sunday propped up in bed with her easel, fashioning a portrait in charcoal on canvas from a small photo of Thérèse at eight. It was the best and most haunting of her dozen works of art."[8]
  • Alain Mimoun - Olympic marathon champion - "St Thérèse of Lisieux is my patron saint. The white roses which I planted in front of her [her statue in the garden] flower almost all the year round."[9]
  • Henri Bergson - Nobel prize winner - "One reason why the philosopher Henri Bergson esteemed Thérèse so highly was that he was fascinated by the qualities of character which prompted her to confront the Pope of her day , Leo XIII, in pursuit of her own desires...explicitly forbidden by the chaplain to address Leo XIII, Thérèse flouted the injunction..she was dragged away by two papal guards.This is hardly the simpering and docile saint which Thérèse's statuary too often suggests."[10]
  • Claudia Koll - Italian actress
  • Don Luigi Orione - Italian saint
  • Pio of Pietrelcina - Italian saint
  • Fernando del Valle - Operatic Tenor
  • Charles Maurras - French author and political philosopher
  • Jacques Fesch - French murderer turned devotee
  • Ada Negri - Italian poet
  • Giovanni Papini - Italian critic and journalist
  • Giuseppe Moscati - Italian saint
  • Francis Bourne - British Cardinal - "I love St Thérèse of Lisieux very much because she has simplified things: in our relationship with God she has done away with the mathematics.."[11]
  • Jean Guitton - French writer
  • Emmanuel Mounier - French writer/philosopher
  • Gilbert Cesbron
  • Georges Bernanos - "A few months before her death, Therese wrote of ' a wall rising up as far as the heavens..when I sing of the happiness of Heaven, I feel no joy, because I am simply singing of what I WANT TO BELIEVE' (Manuscrits , 248)... Bernanos, a devotee of Thérèse, employs the same image in his novel Diary of a Country Priest, where the priest confides to his diary, Behind me there was nothing. and in front of me a wall, a black wall'.[12]
  • Maxence Van Der Meersch
  • Henri Gheon
  • Marie-Joseph Lagrange - founder of Biblical School in Jerusalem - "I owe to Saint Thérèse the fact that I didn't become a bookworm. I owe her everything because without her, I would have shrivelled up, my mind dried up."
  • Marthe Robin
  • Daniel Brottier - "In 1923, Father Brottier's superiors from the Congregation of the Holy Spirit gave him the responsibility to resume [the] great Work of the Orphan-Apprentices of Auteuil. The former military chaplain already had great devotion to the little Carmelite. At the time of his appointment in Auteuil Paris, he decided to build a chapel in honor of Thérèse who had just been beatified a few months earlier, so that the orphans could pray to their little mama in a sanctuary worthy of her."[13]
  • Brian Desmond Hurst - film director
  • Louise de Bettignies[14]
  • Vita Sackville-West, author of The Eagle and the Dove a study of Thérèse of Lisieux and Teresa of Avila - admired the "tough core of heroism" she found in the pages of Histoire d'une âme.[15]
  • Gwen John - "Some of her final paintings were in fact of religious subjects [including] countless (over 700) tiny ink copies after a photograph of Thérèse of Lisieux and the saint's elder sister.." [16]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Mother Teresa by Elaine Murray Stone, 1999 ISBN 0-8091-6651-8 page 9
  2. ^ I Thirst: Saint Therese of Lisieux and Mother Teresa of Calcutta, by Jacques Gauthier. Staten Island, NY: Alba House, 2005
  3. ^ http://www.clairval.com/lettres/en/98/p8049881297.htm
  4. ^ Maria Valtorta Autobiography, CEV Press 1991, ASIN: B000BY4XKS page 250
  5. ^ Biography at the Vatican Website
  6. ^ p.224 Guy Gaucher The Spiritual Journey of St.Thérèse of Lisieux ISBN 0-232-51713-4
  7. ^ A Journey into God Delia Smith p.221 ISBN 0-340-49043-8
  8. ^ Louise Brooks, A Biography ISBN 0-8166-3781-4 Barry Paris, p.431
  9. ^ The Spiritual Journey of St Therese of Lisieux, Guy Gaucher p.220 ISBN 0-232-51713-4
  10. ^ Mary Bryden Literature and Theology, 1999, Vol 13 p.5/6
  11. ^ The Spiritual Journey of St Thérèse, Guy Gaucher, pub:Darton,Longman & Todd 1987
  12. ^ Mary Bryden, Literature and Theology, 1999, Vol 13, p.6/7
  13. ^ Saint Therese, Her Life, Times and Teaching p.264 - Conrad de Meester, General Editor.ICS Publications 1997 ISBN 0-935216-61-8
  14. ^ Annette Becker, La Guerre et la Foi, Armand Colin, 1994
  15. ^ Mary Bryden, saints and stereotypes: The case of Therese of Lisieux, Literature and Theology 1999 Vol 13 (1) P.3
  16. ^ Alison Thomas, Portraits of Women, Gwen John and her Forgotten Contemporaries, Polity Press 1996, p.184