Talk:Thérèse of Lisieux

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Untitled[edit]

Someone should mention the basilica in LISIEUX, FRANCE where she came from, this should go before all the stuff that has been named after her in America. I don't know much about it, i've just been there (it's a bit creepy actually- it has a crypt, and it's on top of a big hill). I know it's not a word but please try not to be so "america-centric". Sci_fi_rocks 19:02, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Go for it. Just try to make it encyclopedic without a lot of unsourced material. Ward3001 22:31, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

==The parents of St. Therese, Louis Martin and Zelie Guerin, were declared Venerables by Pope John Paul II in 1994. A reputed miraculous cure of a thirteen month old child with a lung disorder was accepted by the Archbishop of Milan in 2003 as attributable to the intercession of the Martin couple, making them eligible for beatification. No date has been set for this ceremony, which first must be approved by the Pope.

Leonie Martin, the third eldest child to survive to adulthood, has also been mentioned as a possible candidate for sainthood. Of the five Martin daughters, Leonie was outwardly the least talented and attractive. She seemed to have suffered from obsessive-compulsive and skin disorders. Therese's letters to Leonie are among the first expressions of Therese's "way of confidence and love." In 1899, after the death of Therese, Leonie entered the Visitation Monastery in Caen. As Sister Francoise-Therese, she lived there until her death in 1941, earning the reputation of being a kind and humble nun. You can read more about her in the book "Leonie Martin: A Difficult Life" by Marie Baudoin-Croix. Accordingly, there may be as many as four members of the Martin family formally recognized by the Church, or, perhaps, it may decide that St. Therese's canonization and popularity have brought bring enough recognition to her entire immediate family without the need for further ceremony.

Therese is the only member of her family to have been canonized.

Miracles?[edit]

I'm not Catholic, but I believe that to be made a saint you must perform miracles after death (that would mean you are not in purgatory but in heaven, and only saints can go to heaven directly). What was the basis for canonization? What miracles were claimed, and were they all accepted as true by the vatican?

Here's an excerpt from the Bull of Canonization of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. It answers your questions, but it is long (though not compared to what it was taken from). [1] is the source--the statement is under the transcript of the homily, just scroll down to get to it. The site goes into further depth about the miracles, why they were considered to be so, what research was done, etc.
"The Process having been carried through its various stages, and the heroic nature of the virtues practiced by Thérèse having been duly inquired into, the General Congregation was held on August 2, 1921, in presence of Pope Benedict XV. His Eminence, Cardinal Vico, Ponent of the Cause, submitted for discussion the question of the heroism of the Servant of God in practicing the theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity, as also the cardinal virtues of Prudence, Fortitude, Justice, and Temperance. The Cardinals and Consulters present gave their vote, and after delaying in order to obtain further light from God, Our Predecessor promulgated his decision on the eve of the Assumption, to the effect that the Venerable Thérèse had practiced the above virtues to an heroic degree.
So rapid and triumphant was the progress of the Cause that at once two miracles were proposed for examination, chosen out of a multitude of prodigies said to have been wrought throughout the Christian world by the powerful intercession of the Venerable Thérèse. The first concerned Sister Louise of St. Germain, of the Daughters of the Cross, victim of an organic disease, namely, a grave ulcer in the stomach, of hemorragic nature. On having recourse to the intercession of Thérèse, she was restored to perfect health, as three eminent doctors have unanimously testified at the request of the Sacred Congregation of Rites. The second miracle, somewhat similar to the first, was the cure of the young seminarist, Charles Anne, victim of pulmonary haemoptysis, of the cavitary stage. He confidently invoked the aid of the Servant of God and was perfectly cured. This is clear from the testimony of the three doctors, and from the reasons on which they based their decisions."
Just to clarify according to the Catholic faith saints don't have to go to heaven directly, anyone in heaven is considered a saint, but the "saints" we have on earth are souls the Vatican is absolutely certain they went to heaven. At least, that's what I learned at Catholic school.--98.212.194.29 (talk) 23:48, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

doubts about the afterlife[edit]

Re:

Throughout the eighteen months before she died, Therese underwent agonizing doubts about the existence of an after-life, reporting that, despite her redoubled prayers, she feared the prospect that death would only bring about a "nothingness of being", rather than eternal life.

cut from article:

In this, she is seen as a very modern saint, anticipating the loss of faith that characterized the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, particularly in Europe.

Who sees her as a modern saint? And is the implication that she lost faith? Is believe in life after death an essential part of faith? Or Catholic faith in particular?

Sounds like someone is saying she wasn't very saintly. If so, a citation is needed for this point of view. --Uncle Ed 16:43, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

No, to the contrary, she is the greatest saint of modern times, as Pope St. Pius X described her to be. In her autobiography, she courageously described her dark night of the soul, wherein she felt no consolation from religion yet, in response, redoubled her prayers. No citation is needed beyond her own written testimony in "The Story of a Soul": "it seems to me that the darkness, borrowing the voice of sinners, says mockingly to me: 'you are dreaming about eternally possessing the Creator of all these marvels, you believe that one day you will walk out of this fog that surrounds you! Advance, advance, rejoice in death which will give you not what you hope for but a night more profound, the night of nothingness'". She further admitted, "when I sing of the happiness of heaven and of the eternal possession of God, I feel no joy in this, for I sing simply what I WANT TO BELIEVE" (her emphasis). Therese is no sappy, plaster saint. She experienced profound religious doubts, as she was slowly dying, just when she most needed sweet consolations. Her courage, her honesty, her perseverance are what make her a great saint. She was not preserved in aspic, as it were, away from human struggle and angst, and is not, as some of her more sentimental devotees portray her, the patron saint of "cheap grace". She once said that "Jesus is all bloody", referring to the toughness at the core of the Christian message. So was Therese herself.

That sounds good. Can we add that to the article? --Uncle Ed 15:11, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Thank you. I am glad you thought it should be added, and I'll do so--or at least try to figure out how to do so. By the way, there is an interesting draft article on this issue from June 1999 at the Woodstock Theological Center (Georgetown University) titled "Desolation and Doctrine in Therese of Lisieux" that discusses her "trial of faith" in quite a bit more detail. Juan.

On the advice of her confessor, Therese wrote the Creed in her own blood. She courageously accepted the temptations against faith, calling them simply "a trial." Her sister Celine wrote: "We have a curious paradox here: in the midst of a great temptation against faith, which concerned chiefly the existence of heaven, Therese constantly showed that she hoped in that heaven, and continually expressed her desire for it." (from "St. Therese by those who knew her, ed. Christopher O'Mahony, OCD).

Why Russia?[edit]

Why is she considered the patron saint of Russia by the Roman Catholic Church? I couldn't find any connection with Russia mentioned in the article. —Angr 12:46, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

Separate articles about shrines[edit]

I moved the details about two of the National shrines to their individual articles. There does not seem to be an article yet about the third National shrine. Laura1822 05:31, 22 July 2007 (UTC)

Popularity[edit]

I changed a sentence that said she was "the most popular saints" to say that she is "one of the more" popular saints. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Logos81 (talkcontribs) 15:44, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Page name[edit]

Why don't we move this to Thérèse of Lisieux. No-one calls her Therese de Lisieux in English; Google and Google scholar search results firmly back this. Carl.bunderson (talk) 20:43, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Done. Carl.bunderson (talk) 23:00, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

little way[edit]

This is an inadequate, though widely used, English rendition of petite voie. On its own it is meaningless. Ways can be short, narrow, easy, steep or pretty. They can't be little. Perhaps a better rendition is "short cut", though that has unfortunate connotations of cheating and is a slightly informal feel to it.

Regardless of the precise translation from French, the phrase "little way" associated with St. Therese is well known in the English speaking world and clearly describes an important aspect her life. A change in translation is not needed and, in fact, would be counterproductive. Ward3001 (talk) 16:21, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Missing, and infant jesus and holy face section[edit]

Why no mention of Pranzini, her first 'child' and why no mention of the priests she wrote to, Belliere and Roulland. Sayerslle (talk) 04:27, 14 January 2009 (UTC) Also these words in the holy face section " ..she expressed the notion that by the divine union of love, the soul takes on the semblance of Christ. By contemplating the sufferings associated with the Holy Face of Jesus, she felt she could become closer to Christ." I don't like this because the language 'notion' 'semblance' 'associated' ' she felt' 'closer to Christ'..all this language is luke-warm and wispy and Therese was tough and definite and she didnt talk like 'closer to Christ' it was more like self annihilation so as to let Jesus become everything, like St Pauls ' it is no longer I that live, but Jesus lives in me' etc.. Sayerslle (talk) 00:57, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Places named after St. Therese[edit]

Much of this section has no references. Someone added a new location in Canada today, I have no idea if this is true or a prank. I am reverting. The rest of the unsourced items need to be referenced or removed in a few days. History2007 (talk) 21:52, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

3 months later... still unreferenced. time to clean up. History2007 (talk) 19:09, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Therese prayed for a death row inmate[edit]

According to the March 2009 edition of St. Anthony Messenger, Therese "prayed in 1887 for an outward sign of the conversion of a death-row criminal named Pranzini. When Thérèse found out that Pranzini had held a crucifix while kissing it three times immediately before his execution, she reports that she had truly obtained the sign of conversion for which she had prayed." Hope you can update this article about it. Here's the link. --Angeldeb82 (talk) 18:02, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

Neurosis?[edit]

Does this article need to say a bit more about how she is seen by commentators today? I've read books by religious and non-religious writers that suggest that Therese suffered from neurotic self-absorbtion, to the point that she actually seemed to actively seek a martyr's death. At the moment the article reads a bit too hagiographical otherwise - rather than providing any real biographical insight, especially into her difficult childhood which may have led to later character developments. Contaldo80 (talk) 12:28, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Aaah please.... Reminds me of the celebrity shrinks in Beverly Hills who diagnose the stars. Buddy, psychologists have a really hard time agreeing on the diagnosis of patients that they have seen in person. Trying to diagnose a person they have never met and who died before they graduated from psych-school is just a shot in the dark at best. Let the saint rest in peace, else one of these psychologists may just email her a bill for consultation. History2007 (talk) 19:20, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Contaldo that the article is simplistic , it doesn't provide much insight - if I just read the article I wouldn't understand why Therese mattered so much to people, made such an impression. I think some of the answer is in that they could identify with her difficultness, her 'neurosis', the autobiography revealed that 'sainthood' wasn't perhaps what they thought it was before they read her.. 'Let the saint rest in peace..'!?? She said she wanted to spend her heaven doing good on earth. I don't think she wanted to be 'left in peace'. Sayerslle (talk) 01:13, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
The Holy Face section is sloppy, simplistic, repetetive..I clicked on Leon Dupont and he's a Belgian athlete apparently. In 1889 her name was therese of the child jesus of the holy face, I think ..therese of the child jesus and the holy face was later..and stuff like 'the name later came to be seen as a reflection of 2 aspects of her character, the toy, but also prepared to suffer abandonment' - but to be a toy requires abandonment doesn't it..its not referenced, that simplistic, wrong-headed assertion. Sayerslle (talk) 02:02, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
Sayerslle's comments are in effect literally criticism of the type that appears in the New York Times. Any article can receive multiple views. The Leon Dupont link must have been a typo, I just fixed that -- you could have fixed that too with a search. It now has a link to the Venerable Leo Dupont who has a Wikipage. And the quote that you say is not referenced comes for the pages of the book that is referenced there. I checked on Google books. And most of your comments include the statement I think which amounts to POV. This article can be improved, but using your own psychological models to define reasons for why people like her, or what she wanted in her life, is guesswork and POV, unless of course you had asked her that personally some time ago. History2007 (talk) 07:48, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
'I think' I'm right in saying that Therese wanting "to spend her heaven doing good on earth", is not using my own psychological model to guess what she wanted - she said , or wrote that, during her lifetime. That sentence I really hate, about 'reflect two aspects of her character' if its a quote from a book, put it in quotes and give the ref. Its more they reflect two aspects of her evolution... Where I did use my own psychological model is when I reacted at your dismissive reply to the editor and said 'Ahhh leave the saint in peace', it made , it makes, me feel you haven't understood Therese at all, that is very arrogant of me I accept, but Therese makes me feel possessive , and I feel, as you agree, the article doesn't do Therese the credit she deserves. Looking back at the edit history it seems to me it was better in 2005/2006 and its sad when articles go backwards. Therese left poems, letters, an autobiography, plays, there are thousands of books, films on Therese...it won't need my bloody guesswork, to improve the article on what she wanted. ..' unless of course you had asked her that personally some time ago." 'Sarcasm - "the lowest form of wit". Sayerslle (talk) 13:35, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
last thing, it seems to me 'the places named after Therese section' should be cut. It could be endless and the page is about Therese, the space could be better used to write about her life, same with ' there is a movt. to get her parents canonised' etc...The article should be 1873-1897 overwhelmingly, in my opinion the article drowns the subject in extraneous stuff. Do you think the 'places named after ..' section should/could go?Sayerslle (talk) 13:52, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
Well, sarcasm and dismissive talk are some of my favorite forms of speech... As for places named after, if you look above on this very page, you will see I have been cutting it back when there are no references - there used to be many more. My preference would be to keep it, but just the key places, like the page I built for Basilica of St. Thérèse (Lisieux). As for the rest, please provide an outline (i.e. section headings plus a paragraph) of what you would like to see in the article and we can discuss that. As for going back to 2005, not a good idea, the text is there and is referenced. The article can certainly be expanded and improved, but needs a good outline first. I think the worst parts now are those very long captions on the photos. I can not even read them. Overall, the article looks unkempt, but with some attention can be fixed. History2007 (talk) 14:11, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

I hesitate to criticise an item I have no intention of fixing but I must say having read the entry I do not get it. It does not describe a living person to me - no warts are visible just the stuff that would appear in the brochure at a cathedral named after her. Secondly I really, really do not get why anyone other than friends and family would give a rats ass about this chick ten minutes after she died. I do not say this to be disrespectful but to highlight the fact that only someone who already "gets it" would understand why she is so popular now. To me - why ? She appears to have been a common or garden nun. There must be something more to it.--124.171.226.129 (talk) 08:24, 21 October 2009 (UTC) --124.171.226.129 (talk) 08:24, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Thank you. The entire article reads like a religious tract/Catholic propaganda. History2007 seems to object to the term "neurosis" because of the implied disrespect to Catholic beliefs. I wasn't aware that WP had to tread lightly on the delicate sensibilities of believers. 24.147.77.231 (talk) 13:41, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree with this. It still remains really saccharine and does not provide a critical insight into her life and actions. I'm also surprised that some have found my description of 'neurosis' as too psycho-analytical. I have heard about 3 or 4 Catholic priests and commentators actually use the word themselves when interviewed about her modern day appeal! Contaldo80 (talk) 08:43, 21 October 2009 (UTC)
In Wikipedia hearsay does not count. You could have heard 2 popes say that, but until it gets published and referenced can not be added. Hence it must remain out unless you have good references that say that. History2007 (talk) 16:28, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
References now added. Can I suggest you tone down the sarcasm a little -thanks. Contaldo80 (talk) 17:31, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, those references do not have page numbers and hence are not verifiable. There is no way to verify if that was a general impression from reading the book, or if the statement was made in that tone in the book. Please add specific page numbers that I can look up within the next day or so, or they will need to be reverted. Do I need to provide a reference with page number discussing the nature of sarcasm? History2007 (talk) 17:51, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Not at all, you're a real expert when it comes to sarcasm so I don't need a reference for that. Most of the sources on the page do not have page numbers cited but that does not make them invalid. Yet I will show that this is based on fact and so provide the page number sources as a gesture of good will. I'm particularly keen to find something that suggests Teresa was an unbalanced individual (I know there are many commentators who argue this) and that her religious experiences were not far from delusions. I'll see what I can dig up for you. Contaldo80 (talk) 09:22, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Ok, let the games begin. This should be fun. I had been intending to work on this article, but now you got me started, so I will do it. I will take a look and work on it. But all of this is in the context of hypotheses by people who had never met her, so they will need to be separated from factual information such as location of birth. History2007 (talk) 13:03, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Maybe you can cast your expert eye over some of the text around the "miracles" too while you're at it - they don't sound particularly "factual". But we know that Dr Geyral met her so at least that testimony must be factual. But don't let this distract you from your work to improve the article - it needs a heavy does of rationalism to weed out some of the heavy-handed sentimentalism. Contaldo80 (talk) 16:44, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't think there's much doubt, or argument, that Thérèse had a 'difficult', 'neurotic' aspect to her personality - she hardly went to school because she couldn't get on with her fellow pupils, she was taught by a Madame Papineau at the lady's home - and she cast an often critical eye over the fine bourgeois ladies who came to gossip. She had a kind of breakdown shortly after Pauline disappeared into the Carmel of Lisieux. None of the 'neurosis' is a threat to believers - on the contrary Thérèse 'taught' that weakness was reality for human beings. Edith Piaf, said 'Use your faults, use your weaknesses - then you're going to be a star.' Piaf was devoted to Thérèse and its a Thérèsian idea. Sayerslle (talk) 02:15, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks - I agree with you. Contaldo80 (talk) 12:31, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Be careful you guys.... you may get into a heated agreement soon.... History2007 (talk) 13:58, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Well when Contaldo writes that some think she was 'an unbalanced individual' and that her 'religious experiences were not far from delusions' - I don't like the sound of those expressions so , you know, - who agrees about everything? I prefer 'extremely sensitive' to unbalanced. I like what Ida Gorres wrote " one of those nervous, overssensitive children for whom life itself represents an almost overwhelming burden..Thereses case: early maturity in regard to moods and emotions of sadness; excessive vulnerability to humdrum, trivial hurts; low physical resistance; enormous need for protection; fear of strangers and strangeness..." and then it changed at Christmas 1886..Christmas 1886 is missing in the article too..it needs expanding and deepening.. Sayerslle (talk) 16:58, 11 December 2009 (UTC) So in fact I don't think I would agree that the 'strongly neurotic' aspect remained throughout her life but if the references support that, then o.k. Sayerslle (talk) 17:04, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Rather than my own opinion I was taking the line that Karen Armstrong sets out in her book on the treatment and role of women in the Christian churches. The point she makes is that Therese has been highlighted as a role-model for women to look to but that this is damaging as in reality she represents a rather patriarchal view of femininity promoted by the Catholic authorities. One that is fragile, weak, and over-sensitive as well as attention-seeking (deliberately seeking martyrdom etc). That is not to diminish Therese's faith or spirituality but to make the point that her cult may have drawbacks in promoting a figure that undermines the abilities of women to some extent in the religious sphere. I can't remember the whole line of argument but am happy to refer back to the work and see whether anything useful can be teased out to add to the article. Contaldo80 (talk) 17:14, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Certainly the ref for p.83 of Gorres book doesn't support the idea that she remained 'strongly neurotic' - it discusses Thereses illness after Pauline left for Carmel, how Therese understood her illness etc. I don't know Armstrongs book but the idea that the Catholic authorities set her up to represent a patriarchal view of femininity - I don't understand that. Certainly I know it was the popular demand of ordinary men and women for her book , 1897 - 1910 kind of thing, that initiated the 'cult', that she became massively popular with French soldiers in the carnage of the First World War - it was pressure from the masses of Catholics that forced the authorities to hurry up her canonization.. thats my understanding of the origins of her 'cult'. if she was an attention- seeker why did she bury herself in an enclosed convent - it was only out of obedience to an order she even wrote her 'autobiography' and towards the very end of her life that she had a feeling her writings might be important at all, might have an after-life. Sayerslle (talk) 19:47, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
I think there's a lot more to the promotion and veneration of Therese than meets the eye. There are lots of nuns and none of them have attracted the same level of attention. I accept part of it is popular appeal, but we shouldn't forget that the appeal is ofen not spontaneous but rather is channeled for one reason or another. The italian article actually is really good - it looks at several of these issues. Therese as feminist; as anti-feminist; as obedient to the church; as challenging church authorities. I think the article in English needs to cover many of the issues in the same way. We have a long way to go. Contaldo80 (talk) 17:59, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
I remember reading in Gide's Journals that in the early years of the 20th century there was a revival of French Catholicism , and a lot of writers became fervent, Paul Claudel, Francis Jammes, Henri Ghéon, Georges Bernanos, Léon Bloy etc..and they put pressure on the Protestant Gide to convert - maybe Thérèse was part of that 'campaign' for Catholic revival..is that the kind of thing you mean.. If shes being used by the authorities it doesn't say much for her effectiveness does it? as Catholicism is in crisis in the West, isn't it?..I can't read Italian but I can see that page is impressive. Gives the English page something to aim for..I remember reading Ida Gorres, thinking about the great popularity of Thérèse, and she wondered, if Thérèse had been hopelessly ugly, would she have become so popular? Who knows, it's a fallen world.Sayerslle (talk) 21:34, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Interesting. The italian page also has a long list of individuals inspired by Therese. That should be fairly easy for us to replicate on our english page as a first step perhaps. Contaldo80 (talk) 10:08, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Update based on above discussion[edit]

Hi guys, based on the abiove, I am getting ready to do a series of updates.... Please hold on to your seats until it settles down. Cheers and happy new year. History2007 (talk) 00:03, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

I think what you've written in the top half of the article is fair and I like the page youve created for her list of devotees! Two little things . 'the distress on losing Pauline to the habit' reads a bit odd - 'to the Carmel' might be better? And the quote 'On that blessed night..Jesus who fit..' can't be right 'Jesus who saw ? fit'..I didn't change it because I havent got the quote. When the article jumps though from her character, to her last months , thats a bit sudden. I think after character analysis , it should go something like ; Therese 1888 - 1893; Therese 1893-1897; Therese as teacher - the little way and the holy face -Something like that.? The bottom half of the article needs to be deepened and expanded now and made a more logical read - it jumps about unhelpfully IMO. Sayerslle (talk) 21:10, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
I am not finished yet. It will take another day or two. I even added more, but it is all still in the "early life" part. I guess the later life will even be longer... But that has to be done later. Cheers History2007 (talk) 04:08, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
The Imitation Section - I'm sure she didn't first read the Imitation when she was 14. And the date is wrong , she was 4 in 1877. Ida Gorres p.126 - the two books which became especially important to her before she discovered ' the hidden treasures of the Gospels', in Carmel, were the Imitation of Christ, and Abbé Arminjons ' The End of this World' , they became especially important to the adolescent Therese, but Therese knew the Imitation before she was 14 - "Much to everybodys amusement..my aunt would often open it at random and make me say by heart the first chapter she came to". Sayerslle (talk) 20:52, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
It is 1887 according to the source, it was a typo. By the way, do you have any idea of the date of this photo: File:Therese von Lisieux (profess).jpg ? And it is nice that you are checking this as I go along, please correct any date etc. you see.... I am still working on it... Did you see the May 13 date? Surprising it was... History2007 (talk) 21:38, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
She didn't start reading the Imitation age 14! This is from her autobiography , the chapter 'First Communion - Boarding School; 1883-1886 " Often during my Communions, I would repeat these words from the Imitation 'O Jesus .., inexpressible sweetness, change for me into bitterness, all the consolations of this earth..' Pre 1887. It's not a big deal I guess..Sayerslle (talk) 22:02, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
But I like to "get it right" so I will check the auto bio, also change the sentence for now. Any idea on the data of photo? Have you seen it in a book? History2007 (talk) 00:07, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
The photo with the lily, according to Descouvement's Therese and Lisieux book was taken in the sacristy courtyard, July 1896. Sayerslle (talk) 01:17, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks a lot. I checked the auto bio and it was as you said. I guess the source was not right.... I will fix it. History2007 (talk) 01:22, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
I have finished the first parts now, it ended up being more like a total rewrite than an expansion, as it went along. The only part that needs work now is the part in the Carmel. I put an expand tag on it, but need to take a break from this for a while. What do you think should go into that section? If you want to write it, go ahead, else a few bullet items as to what should be there will be good. Thanks. History2007 (talk) 04:17, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
I think I 'll try and create an article on Ida Gorres ' book on Therese, The Hidden Face (book), it was an influential study of Therese, and then even if the article isn't considered notable, it will help me think about this article, the second half of the article, there are many aspects that could be expanded on, her role as novice mistress, her writing to the priests in China/Indo China, her 'tunnel' when she felt like an atheist - an IP who wrote about this on this page in 'doubts about the afterlife', - that could be put in the article, , her 'last conversations', her interpretation of scripture, etc..Sayerslle (talk) 01:52, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
It is notable, and just needs expansion. As for this article, if you can fill in the missing section of the article that would be great. You obviously know about her life, so why not? But why that title, else where it is writen that:
Her devotion to the hidden Face of Sorrows is later described by Therese as the very heart of her piety
or that
For the feast of the Sacred Heart, Therese wrote fCe queje verrai bientot...which keeps recurring in her letters: the hidden face of Jesus
Is that where the title comes from? If so which one? History2007 (talk) 08:43, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
It's been a while since I read Gorres's book - I'll re-read it because I'd like to expand the article on the book. I think 'the hidden face' has multiple resonances. Therese was hidden in her life. The first paragraph of Gorres book tells the story of Therese on her sickbed overhearing a nun say to another 'Therese will die soon;what will our Mother Prioress be able to write in her obituary notice? She entered our convent, lived and died - there really is no more to say.'..And Therese hid from her own face. 'freedom is found in resolutely looking away from oneself' ..Leonie said 'She was very pretty, but she alone seemed not to be aware of it.In all the time we lived together at home I never saw her looking in the mirror.' This was all deliberate on Thereses part, Gorres says. So Marie would say later ' My sister Therese says in her autobiograpjhy that she was by nature proud - without her having written it, it would never have occurred to me.' Added to this was the mysterious vision of her childhood in which she had seen her father walking in the garden with covered head..she pondered this..And Second Isaiah 'Six weeks before her death she remarked to Pauline "The words in Isaiah 'No stateliness here, no majesty, no beauty, as we gaze upon him, to win our hearts. Here is one despised, leftout of all human reckoning; how should we recognize that face? How should we take any account of him, a man so despised' - these words were the basis of my whole worship of the Holy Face..- I too wanted to be without beauty, alone to tread the grapes, unknown to all creatures.'. On the eve of her Profession she wrote to Sister Marie 'Tomorrow I shall be the bride of Jesus 'whose face was hidden and whom no man knew' Sayerslle (talk) 10:13, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Her name in religion[edit]

My understanding is that her name in religion'Therese of the Child Jesus' was prett y much given to her by the Prioress, Marie de Gonzague, and later she added the 'Holy Face' part. In her act of oblation, 9 June 1895 she signs, 'Marie-Françoise-Thérèse de l'Enfant Jesus et de la Sainte Face, Rel. Carm. Ind.' (this is from Ida Gorres book, page 269). If Gaucher says different, then I would like a full reference, page number etc. Sayerslle (talk) 13:12, 2 November 2009 (UTC)

Th Vatican proclamation as Doctor of the Church says: ST THÉRÈSE OF THE CHILD JESUS AND THE HOLY FACE AS A "DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH" [2] and maybe they know something.... Cheers History2007 (talk) 09:10, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Having got up to her entry into the novitiate on the franglais , , 10 January 1889, , that evening she sent a note to Sister Martha she signs it, according to the translation in the General Correspondence, Sister Therese of the Child Jesus of the Holy Face, and this is the way she signs her letters to the end, in the ICS translation of General Correspondence. I don't understand this , it makes me want to see the facsimile copies of her letters..I have only a very basic French, is it possible that in french 'Sainte therese de l'enfant Jesus et de la sainte face' translates as 'Saint Therese of the Child jesus of the holy face', is that the idiom, so to speak., the et doesn't have the same weight, .seems unlikely but I don't understand the discrepancy...Having been confused by the editor who kept changing the name of Therese in religion , to 'Therese of the Child Jesus of the Holy Face' perhaps they just knew the french idiom better than me. The plaque in the basilica clearly says 'Therese de l'enfant jesus et de la sainte face' I just would like to know from a fluent french speaker how that translates. The discrepancy is puzzling. Why is nothing straightforward? and there's the link above, which says and , and is reassuring that the andis right, but why are things lost in translation then in the General Correspondence?. Sayerslle (talk) 19:22, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Problems with the Early Years section[edit]

Some problems I see: Confusing chronology - Pauline enters Carmel, October 1882, Therese sees the prioress about entering Carmel, september 1882? then a massive jump, ( Therese's life was so short, this is a great leap) to 1886 - Marie enters Carmel, Therese then feels alone, and spends many hours before the Blessed Sacrament - between 1882 - 1886?; then she gets tremors - back to 1883 - scruples 1884-1886 the chronology is too confusing. I know this is a result of collaboration partly, bits getting added. I'd like to have a go but just wanted to flag up what I see as problems with the section and I think the section will be quite a bit longer. Is that desirable?. I think it is, but to make the chronology clear wll take more space , as the confusion is partly due to compression. Sayerslle (talk) 00:49, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Feel free to fill the gaps. The biggest gap of course is the empty section after that.... History2007 (talk) 06:19, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
New Question Sayerslle: Is this a book or an article? I think you added valid material (probably) but I say probably because it is soooooooo long now that I can not be bothered to read it. I think other people may just gloss over it as well. It is really no longer an article, but adissertation. And it will most probably be subject to someone else's butchery in 9 months. Please look at the disaster on Talk:Catholic Church because that article got too long. I suggest you selectively and carefully trim this yourself before that type of problem appears here. Thanks. History2007 (talk) 21:13, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
Yep, I will edit it, or it will get edited, I'll cut it down..I want to watch the Superbowl tonight, but tomorrow. Sayerslle (talk) 21:22, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
I think 1 or 2 days is no big deal. But you should probably cut back on quotes, and make a list of key events to keep, etc. I think her recovery is a key event, etc. History2007 (talk) 22:24, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
I'll leave this section for now, but will return to it if I can find a version that doesn't run away like the one I tried - Some general and specific things I think remain to be dealt with : After her mysterious illness and recovery, her First Communion should be mentioned - it was a very big deal in those days apparently, and especially for her ; the Christmas 1886 event should be expanded - no idea is given of what it was about. Specific things I still find grating - Dr . Notta gave no diagnosis - I have a source, Gorres again!, that says he diagnosed chorea or St Vitus Dance - which is right? - 'she spent many hours in front of the Blessed Sacrament' -, this seems like a sentence torn out of context, from when she was waiting for her father to collect her from the 'Congregation of the Children of Mary' ,-it makes it seem like for four years ' 'no one paid any attention to ' her, ( they did !), so she 'spent many hours in front of the Blessed Sacrament', too imprecise, - of the account of the statue of Mary and her recovery, it says 'she began to recover', but the account is specific, that Therese recoverd dramatically, recognised Marie and resumed her normal life.. - 'The date May 13...long after thereses death, - that should go I reckon. Say if long after Therese died, there was a vision of the Virgin Mary in Orpington, on January 2, Thereses birthday - so what? It's nothing to do with her biography. Sayerslle (talk) 12:12, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
My guess: you are worrying too much about text that very few people will ever read, because it is too long. I think deep down you want to write a book on her and this is just a manifestation. My suggestion: go for it, start it and it may be fun, but not here in this article. History2007 (talk) 14:57, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
' hey, so its not factually strictly accurate, but leave the saint in peace, who's going to read it anyway?' Bloody hell. I don't want to write a book about Thérèse. Your guess is wrong. P.S I notice you have nothing to say about the issues with the section, and I don't think its your place to warn me away from the article ' but not here in this article', ! bloody cheek - Sayerslle (talk) 17:43, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Look, article is too long and unbalanced now, a huge section on early life, nothing on midlife, a little about the end. Do you want a "article is too long" tag here? History2007 (talk) 18:29, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
What I think is, the article should be made more informative, and if at the end of that, it's too long, why not create articles for Therese of Lisieux in Carmel which could add detail , with basic information of this time left on the main page, same for the story of a soul separate article, if this article gets too long - I know the article is hopelessly unbalanced but I don't see a good start being to ensure the early years is made as scrawny as later bits. I looked at the Catholic Church article, looked at it, didn't read it, and I thought condsidering the hugeness of its subject it looked quite attractive, pictures for words etc..not disastrous at all. Sayerslle..forgot to log in.. 92.9.224.144 (talk) 19:05, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
I meant the Talk page on Cath Church which is a huge talk page of unending debate.... History2007 (talk) 20:16, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Does it really matter if things get messy on the TalkPage, thats likely when people are discussing/arguing isn't it. Reading back I thought , yes, I seem to quote a lot, too much from Zelie's letters etc..Sayerslle (talk) 08:36, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
Fact: More time spent on talk page = less time on article itself. History2007 (talk) 10:05, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Overlooking the obvious[edit]

Sayerslle, I think we overlooked the obvious. The BEST source for improving this article would be the French version. It is pretty long, but really well structured. I think it would make a good source for improving this. Now about the really long captions under two of the pictures, they look like towers or minarets. Now I am not suggesting a tower or minaret ban in this article [3] but these captions look unusually long if you look at the rest of Wikipedia. I think they need to be trimmed. Thanks. History2007 (talk) 06:55, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

The French article does look very good - what should we do, try and recreate it section by section on this talk page, argue over disagreements over translation and content?, and then try and add it to the article in english? It would take a while - Personally, if the article looked like the french page , assuming the content equals the form , and it has got a gold star!, in a year it would be worth the trouble - I think it is the most important page on wikipedia! As for the text under the photos I was thinking it would look less odd as more words are added around it and as the article changes shape, hopefully the article will keep changing a lot for a while.Sayerslle (talk) 11:51, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
Actually you know more about Thérèse than I do, so my main disagreements may be if it runs on too long about specific topics. I think "key incidents" are important, but it should remain readable. My suggestion would be to just feed the French article through Google translate and to put it all under Talk:Thérèse of Lisieux/Franglais. Then we will "borrow" from it to enhance this article. That would be easy. History2007 (talk) 12:55, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
O.K I made a start and fed in the first page, the lead, so I 'll put that as a start for the franglais article. One thing i like straight away about the lead is that it mentions the 'novelty of her spirituality', the 'little way' ( though I dont totally agree with the characterization that follows) and her 'night of faith' - it covers more even in the short lead, indicates that she is interesting. I've never used google translate before , you have to be careful . I put in ' elle entre au Carmel', capital C, and it translated , she entered into the caramel, - with ' elle entre au carmel ' it was ' she entered the Carmelite convent..' It is 41 pages long the french article - I printed it out. I don't agree it will be easy even with google translate, because it does strange things sometimes - it translated 'grandes actions' which I would think is ' great actions' as 'the agenda', which is strange - and a lot depends on interpreting the slightly strange english which emerges. Sayerslle (talk) 18:56, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
Actually I built Basilica of St. Thérèse (Lisieux) directly from the French version with a little touch up. It helped a lot, and it took vert little effort for the article. Yes, Google translate is not perfect at all, but I am still very impressed by it. My friend you should have been there in the early days of Machine translation to know how primitive things used to be. The reason it has problems is that it looks like (my guess) it is doing Interlingual machine translation to be able to go between many languages but that is another story.... Anyway, the French version has already provided a gem: her spirituality was effectively a "new avenue"... So it has already paid off. History2007 (talk) 19:23, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
Mixing the franglais with the existing lead would look something like this :

Thérèse Martin , in religion Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face, better known as Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, or Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, or little Thérèse, or the little flower, , is a nun, canonised, born in Alençon 2 January 1873 and died in Lisieux, 30 September 1897.

This young Norman girl felt an early call to religious life. Overcoming the obstacles she entered the Carmelite convent of Lisieux, at 15. After nine years of religious life, the last two spent in a night of faith, she died of tuberculosis on the 30 September 1897 at the age of 24.

The impact of her posthumous publications, including her spiritual autobiography The Story of a Soul, published shortly after her death, made her one of the greatest saints of the 20th century. Considered by Pius XI as the star of his pontificate, she was quickly beatified and canonised and then declared co-patron saint of missions with Francis Xavier in 1927 and in 1944, co-patroness of France with St. Joan of Arc. Devotion to Saint Thérèse has developed around the world.

The novelty of her spirituality, called the theology of the little way has inspired many believers. In 1997 Pope John Paul II made her the 33rd doctor of the Church, recognising the exemplary writings, and life, of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux.

Built in her honour the Basilica of Lisieux is the second greatest place of pilgrimage in France after Lourdes.

What do you think. I prefer it because it mentions in the lead the little way, and the night of faith. Sayerslle (talk) 17:41, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

I agree. But the trick is not to use the franglais but get the ideas out of it. And Norman would mean less to English readers, etc. Take a look: it is much better now. History2007 (talk) 18:15, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
I changed it to two years, spent in a night of faith..at the end.. yes, I think it is better now if people just read the lead its got more information. I'm going to carry on with the franglais. Sayerslle (talk) 18:38, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Ok, and I think you will see that the French version uses more sentences, and more repetitive structures at times, so they just need to be trimmed. But the lead now successfully summarizes her life, so with 12,000 views per month that was already a step forward. I think her own book will need a page, that way people may actually buy and read it. History2007 (talk) 19:29, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Having done the franglais up to the move to Lisieux following the death of her mother I'd like to re-write the early section - should I just go for it and it can be changed back if people don't like, or should I put the version on the franglais page first and gather opinion? Sayerslle (talk) 20:21, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
I think "people" means me and you since nobody else is commenting. My suggestion: do the empty section on the Flower in Carmel first, that gives an overall feel for the article, then we can merge it all together. Again, you know her better, so you can go for it, but let us get an overall view, then fix it. Cheers. History2007 (talk) 21:03, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
O.K. Thanks Sayerslle (talk) 21:23, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

suggestions for improvement[edit]

  • Therese's sister, Celine, wrote a book entitled "My Sister Saint Therese" [4] which is one of my favorite books. I keep it in my car and take it out and read a little of it whenever I have to wait for my kids soccer practice or elsewhere. She tells stories of her life with Saint Therese and I think it is a good source to use to improve this article.
  • Therese wrote and prayed a prayer often called "Act of Oblation to Merciful Love". This act is something that she often encouraged her friends to pray, the mother superior was praying this on her deathbed. It is an important item to include because people with a devotion to Therese pray this prayer.
  • I read Story of a Soul too. I think that this article should say something about why it became so popular so fast and how Therese's message made her a Doctor of the Church. Before Therese came along, becoming a saint was seen as something that required a person to perform great acts like founding orphanages and schools or being a martyr. What Therese introduced was the concept of the saintliness of doing your job well - however insignificant that job may seem to others. This is the "little way" and I don't think this article relates that message very well. The quote is good but you need a better source to interpret it, sorry I can't help with that immediately but I'll search over the next week and come back.
  • I also think a paragraph about why so many people have a devotion to her. Her statue is in almost every Catholic Church in the world, she is more than extremely popular and this article does not make that clear. There are several prominent people who have something to say about Therese and this could be googled on googlebooks. NancyHeise talk 00:24, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

I think the reasons for her popularity can be guessed and added, but they would all have to be qualified as speculation for there is no way to prove them. But that is another story. And I think saying that her statue is in almost every Catholic Church would be over reaching. Although she is very popular, I personally know at least 5 churches on the west coast and 5 on the east coast that do not have her statue. On the west coast the Guadalupe devoted churches etc. are a world in their own and do not seem to have those. And Franciscan churches seem to have less of her statues. In Europe, outside France some of the more modern churches have them, but my experience would not say most. In particular the landmark European churches that date to the 17th century etc. usually do not have it because they are preserved as they were. So she is popular, but not in most Catholic churches for sure, and the discovery of the demographics of the devotion would be interesting, e.g. Scandinavia vs France vs Portugal (where Fatima rules) etc. I have almost no info on churches in India or elsewhere in Asia. The sayings about her by people should probably go to List of devotees of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. History2007 (talk) 03:56, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

On other talk pages NancyHeise accuses othrers of 'venom spewing'. I hope she won't bring that kind of language here too. WP:CIVIL. In the meantime, if she thinks the article ' should say something about why it ( The Story of a Soul) became so popular so fast..' then why not add it . This article is not censored. Sayerslle (talk) 10:10, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
Of course it can be added, but it will need to be qualified as speculation. History2007 (talk) 12:03, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
History, in the franglais, I've reached 1888, ..it is detailed the french and I think it's largely based on Guy Gaucher's 1982 'Story of a Life', so its probably more detail than is strictly necessary - personally I wouldn't mind a 41 page article like the french one, but..is there a generally accepted preferable length of articles,...the more difficult bit is coming up now , of her mature outlook and religious ideas, but I think I'll have finished the franglais by the end of March, and then we can take for the english version? Sayerslle (talk) 22:36, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
The size limit is subject to debate as you have seen on that nightmare page that was/is no example to follow. There is a script mentioned on that page that measures teh size of each page/section, so it is just a question of looking in the archives. But there is no doubt that this article is too long, but let us lay it out, then trim whatever we feel is undue. We both know that a 100 page article is a guarantee that people will not read it. So we need to just make a guess as to what the public will find digestible, then stop there. Cheers. History2007 (talk) 08:42, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
The 'nightmare page' is what it is because of your ideological ally..as an admirer of the anarchist/mystic Simone Weil who fought in the Spanish Civil War I can't collaborate on any article with you now I see your alliances, anyway wikipedia just carries on with people just editing when they feel they can contribute, I'm begining to loathe blocs of any kind. Sayerslle (talk) 01:58, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
Actually, frankly I do not care. But I am not a member of any group, on that nightmare page, or elsewhere. I think for myself. You did not read the user pages mentioned therein. Read more carefully, then please drop the subject. I was as critical of the other party elsewhere. The opposing sides are too emotional, hence my walk. As for this page, you should not work on it as a favor to me, but to Thérèse. History2007 (talk) 05:21, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

Lacemaking business[edit]

Therese's mother didn't make a good living making lace; that was a very poorly paid endeavour. She bought lace from lacemakers who worked at home, and resold it to larger wholesalers.

I speak as a Buddhist who appreciates Therese, and as a lacemaker who has dabbled in the history of lace. Zora (talk) 22:47, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

French version[edit]

The French version of Thérèse de Lisieux is a Featured article. ! --78.121.198.143 (talk) 08:48, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

History 2007, seeing as someone has mentioned the french article, (and excuse my petulant previous post please!).I have finished the franglais, but because I added bits from gorres at points, it's not absolutely clear what is from the french article so I'll ask for your opinion if that's o.k. about what can be used when I've made it clear what is the french article, and also added refs to works in english..i think it is a good article, but I looked at some of the debate about whether it should get a gold star and some of the editors there thought it shouldn't because it was written from a too insider-ish tendency and drew from too limited sources..in a way , I kind of see where they're coming from..certainly Contaldo's wish to see criticism wouldn't be answered. I personally don't want to criticise Therese but ' the sickly and sentimental cult surrounding the figure of Therese before Vatican 2,' as Marina Warner called it, criticism of what was made of her , etc could be included perhaps. They mention a book called la Grande saga d'une petite soeur by 3 authors - Bernard Gouley/ Remi Mauger/ Emmanuelle Chevalier and suggested it was more 'critical', I've ordered it and might put bits through google translate if it looks interesting. I like the division into Biography/ writings and 'afterlife'/ spiritual teaching - it kind of gives 3 sections that re-inforce each other and bleed one into the other to maximise the information about her life and writing. Sayerslle (talk) 14:15, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
Where did the discussion on this article take place? Please provide a link. As for getting a gold star, I think it is a long way from that just due to tidiness. This article has a lot of information in it, but the fact is that some of it is just too much for most readers. E.g. the fact that she wore her hair one way or another is really beside the point. There si far far too much pre-Carmel and hardly anything post-Carmel. That lacks balance. And from my viewpoint, this article has still almost totally missed the point about the spirituality of Thérèse and keeps talking about the details of her life and if the mother made lace or sold it. I think the if her mother sold lace or almonds is really less important than the key items that are unique about her: "love can only be repaid by love", "to live by love" etc. And her focus on Eucharistic meditation ties directly into her composition of "to live by love" which is considered her literary masterpiece. I am doing other things at the moment, but I think this article can do with a few sub-articles such as "spirituality of Thérèse" and the "The life of Thérèse" then it can get tidy, but as is, it is lacking the key spiritual items and the temporal items are less than tidy. History2007 (talk) 16:41, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
The discussion is at the foot of the french article, just above the categories, theres a gold 'w' symbol and the link is vote l'ayant promu. I think a sub article on her spirituality is a good idea. Back to the drawing board. Sayerslle (talk) 18:41, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
That link leads nowhere. Anyway, I think there are two subarticles that are needed: spirituality and her life. So the main article will be balanced and not too long. History2007 (talk) 19:24, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
It does link, at the bottom of the french article on Therese the blue hyperlink ' vote l'ayant promu', leads to the discussion about the article of quality debate. I think i could use the franglais as a guide for a more detailed biographical article . last question - Is it unusual to have a 'more detailed straight biography' subarticle when there is a main article? I think an article on Marie of the Trinity could be useful too, and give a chance to look at Therese as a teacher of the novices. Sayerslle (talk) 10:05, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
Is it unusual for a young carmelite nun to become a saint so quickly? I think usual is to be noted, not necessarily followed. The life article is so long that it will make the spirituality items get lost in the trees. History2007 (talk) 11:09, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
Looking for a reference for Gilbert Cesbron on the devotees page, I came across mention of an article in the journal 'Literature and Theology', 1999, oxford university press..volume 13, Number 1, by Mary Bryden, titled 'Saints and Stereotypes: the Case of Therese of Lisieux' , and it says in the free content bit, " This article considers the discrepancies which may arise between the 'authorised version' of a saints life, and his or her 'meaning' as perceived by other responding constituencies. It examines the official vatican summary of Thereses life ( in the 1997 apostolic Letter Divini amoris Scientia) in terms both of what it includes and of what it omits. It argues that the Theresian profile is in fact far more complex and more potentially subversive than her curriculum vitae as cited by the magisterium might suggest. these alternative conceptions of Therese are explored in the second section of this article ..' etc. The whole article isn't available free to read online, but I'll try and get it from the library. sounds interesting, kind of what Contaldo was wanting..just thought I'd mention this. Sayerslle (talk) 00:41, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

Tentative first sketch for 'Conceptions of Thérèse' section[edit]

( relies on single source at moment, Mary Bryden article in 'literature and theology', Vol 13 1999 p 1 - 16) In the official Vatican summary of Therese's life, in the 1997 Apostolic Letter, Divini Amoris Scientia John Paul II stressed her fidelity to inherited doctrine, and her use of ' a living, accessible language.' Her autobiography strikes the reader with its conversational narrative flow and is disarming with its admissions of weakness and self doubt. Nevertheless ' there is a noticeable tendency in the Apostolic Letter to draw Therese into a framework of hierarchy and patriarchy - much space is devoted to the admiration felt for Therese by papal predecessors such as Benedict XV, Pius XII and Pius XI - being quoted as having regarded Therese, whom he beatified and canonised, as the 'Star of his pontificate'.

And towards the end of the document John Paul II considers her significance as a woman ; " Therese is a woman, who in approaching the Gospel knew how to grasp its hidden wealth with that practicality and deep resonance of life and wisdom which belong to the feminine genius." It is evident that women are being aligned not so much with intellectual achievemnent as with a kind of practical wisdom. One radical aspect of Therese , however, is that she made no such gender differentiations. Moreover, one reason her story retains its appeal is that it details her encompassing doubts and questionings of her faith. In the last, dark period of her life, when she lost her previous sense of God's presence, she wrote of : [see text under photo]

File:TeresaLisieux.JPG
a wall rising up as far as the heavens and covering the canopy of stars...When I sing of the happiness of Heaven, I feel no joy, because I am simply singing of what I WANT TO BELIEVE

With no emotional or spiritual apprehension of faith, Therese had to cling on to the idea of God.. Therese implemented what the philosopher Michel de Certeau has referred to as the dynamic of 'quand meme' ( 'nevertheless'); "Belief is thus based on the value of the real whose presence is supposed 'nevertheless' - even when you know, only too well, to what extent 'it's shit' (c'est de la merde ) in the place where you are." The Practice of Everyday Life, L'Invention du Quotidien, p.315, Paris 1980 Thereses struggle is only briefly mentioned in the Apostolic letter - and unacknowledged is the fact that her primary vocation was not, in fact, to become a nun, but a priest. Again, her gendered body was to stand in the way of her genderless will in an ecclesiastical bureaucracy which admits only biological males to the priesthood.What is omitted or played down in the Vatican account is the dark side of her experience, including her struggle to keep faith, her deep sadness at being excluded from the possibility of sacerdotal ministry. These are factors which broaden her appeal within the modern context.

But, while papal documentation demonstrated a Therese who conformed - theatre and cinema have allowed her 'to evade, subvert and puzzle' Her life has provided a continuing focus for writers, film directors, and dramatists. writers who have spoken of her appeal - Antione de Saint-Exupéry is said always to have carried a photograph of her, Francois Mauriac, Didier Decoin etc In the decade leading up to Therese's centenary year a crop of new biographies, a complete new Centenary edition of her writings, and in France , on television, film and stage sveral contrasting renderings of her life. Dominique Coulomb's play therese,staged Theatre des Cinq Diamants feb - april 1997, Jean Favre's play ,Theatre du tourtour dec 1994-feb1995, therese de Lisieux - pre eminently perhaps Alain Cavalier's effective and challenging depiction of her life Therese . What this demonstrates is that modern readings of sainthood are more multivalent than in previous centuries. Moreover contemporary interest tends to focus much more , " on the psychology of sainthood than on its supernatural manifestations : clues as to what fires an individual to remain consistently committed to a perceived ideal excite more curiosity than the pursuit of signs and miracles."

This is a scrappy precis of Mary Brydens article 'saints and Stereotypes' - perhaps it could help provide a jumping off place for a section at the end of the article on 'Conceptions of Therese'. Sayerslle (talk) 20:11, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Should not be hagiography[edit]

As significant and holy as Thèrése doubtless was, this is not the place for hagiography by enthusiasts and advocates. Poor Thèrése would be horrified at the fawning editorializing that makes up much of the article. Wikipedia is a secular encyclopedia, not The Lives of the Saints. For example, I just removed peacock words calling her "one of the greatest saints of the 20th century". Aside from POV, they are an unseemly vulgarization, equivalent to "Sainthood's Greatest Hits". (Also inaccurate, since she lived only in the 19th century.) Please, try for less piety and more self-restraint. — J M Rice (talk) 05:09, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Its not inaccurate - Strictly speaking Therese was not a saint at all in the 19th century, she was canonized in 1925, she was a 19th century Carmelite religious , a twentieth century saint. The 'fawning editorialising' is overstated by you i would say - she was extremely popular, thats why I added a bit about the speed of the process that made her a saint, but its been deleted twice now so i guess its not wanted - . the article is wildly deficient , if the tag attracts new editors then good, but she is a more difficult and complex figure to write cearly about in a balanced article than she appears I think. Sayerslle (talk) 14:27, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Good progress[edit]

Sayerslle, I think the material you have started adding is good progress in filling the Carmel gap. More will be needed, but I support the material. History2007 (talk) 18:43, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Thanks. Its a bit nerve wracking to add paragraphs that people might think are way too much detail, but I figure, after all, its easily rreverted. I know I have to add some references - I made notes and then didn't add my references, its mostly from Gaucher. I have got more to add to the biography, its sifting out the inessential and adding to the bio without it becoming too much so its off putting. Sayerslle (talk) 20:49, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Think of it this way: this page has been sitting there, and nothing has been done to fill that section for a while. In Wikipedia progress happens little by little, so you can add a few refs now, so people will not object to much, then add more refs later. But the Carmel piece was a huge gap that needed to be addressed and it is partly there, partly waiting. But I am sure in time it will happen. I am thinking of it, but I will let you go for it, given that you know the material well. History2007 (talk) 21:05, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Sayerslle, Again, I would like to encourage you to keep going on this. Typos, etc. can be fixed later, but once you have momentum, it is good to keep going and get the overall items in there. I am busy with other things now, but it is clear that you know the material better anyway. I would just suggest some focus on the way the spiritual elements, her best poetic moments etc. came about, rather than the interactions with the other nuns etc. Cheers. History2007 (talk) 00:48, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree that momentum is important, and I will try to get the expanded, time in carmel bit, done , even at the risk of verbiage because it can easily be cut down - I think already the Loyson stuff I added tonight can go really - sometimes I think I latch on to stuff like that because a bit of narrative like that is easier than 'the spiritual elements', which are difficult, and daunting, ..I ordered Jean Guittons study of her yesterday so maybe that will give me a new way into the spirituality - I thought I knew about Therese and the material well,but of course Ive got my version of her, and as a person I kind of just forget the bits I dont understand or feel unsympathetic towards but you have to work harder to understand as a wikipedia editor! Sayerslle (talk) 01:23, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
I think there are all kinds of edits and editors on Wikipedia. I am not sure if there is a generalization. But in any case, what you are adding does not have major errors. And it is a lot more than the next 1999 editors have added. So no worries, go for it. History2007 (talk) 02:00, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Tag at the top[edit]

There is a tag at the top about a rewrite, from Oct 2010. I am not sure if it needs to be there, and I do not see a rewrite as necessary. I do not know who put the tag there, but unless they speak up and give specifics, I think we should de-tag it. History2007 (talk) 16:35, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

I'm glad that tag is gone, ..On 'attributes' by the way, in the french version, in the infobox it says ' wears a Carmelite habit and carries in her hands a cross surrounded with roses.' - that is the famous statue represenation of her - what does 'attributes' mean anyhow in this sense? but if 'attributes' means how is she popularly represented on cards and in statues, then that would be right. Sayerslle (talk) 20:23, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
Ok, but can we find a ref for teh attribute? I reverted that because we have seen so many additions all over the place that I am just tired of searches once items get added out of the blue. But if you are sure, given that you know the topic well, go ahead and add it back. Thanks. History2007 (talk) 21:26, 4 March 2011 (UTC)