The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

Saint Therese of Lisieux

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Therese, born Marie-Francoise-Therese Martin in Alencon, Normandy, on the 2nd of January 1873, lived for just 24 years. Yet within a few years of her death she was canonised and became one of the most popular saints of the 20th century.

She was part of a devout Catholic family, and Therese and two of her sisters would enter the nearby Carmelite convent in Lisieux. Her mother Zelie died when Therese was only 4, and she herself was quite frail both physically and emotionally as a child. Determined to follow her two elder sisters into the convent, she entered Carmel when just fifteen. Nine years later Therese died of tuberculosis.

Therese lived a hidden life and "wanted to be unknown," yet became popular after her death through her spiritual autobiography, and letters, poems, prayers, and her last conversations recorded by her sisters. Living the enclosed life of a Carmelite nun, often committed to quite routine and menial tasks, Therese formed the idea that she could give herself totally to God by doing little things with great love. This came to be known as The Little Way of St Therese. The depth of her spirituality, of which she said, "my way is all confidence and love," inspired many people, and gave them a spirituality for their everyday lives. She was declared a Saint in 1925. In 1930, the new parish being formed in Crossgates Leeds was dedicated to this newest young saint of the Catholic Church.

Published Thu 15th Mar 2012 21:26:35
Last Modified on Mon 4th Jun 2018 01:50:43

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