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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Oct 1, 2020



                                    St. Therese as a novice at the Carmelite convent
            ST. THERESE AT 15 before entering the Carmelite Convent

HOMAGE TO ST. THERESE of Lisieux, the "Little Flower", who died when she was only 24, after having lived as cloistered Carmelite for less than ten years. She never went on missions, never founded a religious order, never performed great works. 

The only book of hers, published after her death, was a brief  version of her journal called "Story of a Soul."  But within 28 years of her death, the public demand was so great that she was canonized.

Therese was born in France in 1873,. Tragedy and loss came quickly to Therese when her mother died of breast cancer when she was four and a half years old. 

Her sixteen year old sister Pauline became her second mother, which made the second loss even worse when Pauline entered the Carmelite convent five years later. A few months later, Therese became so ill with a fever that people thought she was dying.

The worst part of it for Therese was all the people sitting around her bed staring at her like, she said, "a string of onions." When Therese saw her sisters praying to statue of Mary in her room, Therese also prayed. 

She saw Mary smile at her and suddenly she was cured. She tried to keep the grace of the cure secret but people found out and badgered her with questions about what Mary was wearing, what she looked like. 

Without realizing it, by the time she was eleven years old she had developed the habit of mental prayer. She would find a place between her bed and the wall and in that solitude think about God, life, eternity.

When her other sisters, Marie and Leonie, left to join religious orders (the Carmelites and Poor Clares, respectively), Therese was left alone with her last sister Celine and her father.  Sh e later became a cloistered Carmelite nun herself and devoted herself totally to her vocation: Jesus. 

SHe died on September 30, 1897, leaving her journal and letters. Her "little way" of trusting in Jesus to make her holy and relying on small daily sacrifices instead of great deeds appealed to the thousands of Catholics and others who were trying to find holiness in ordinary lives. By 1925, she was canonized.

When we first read her 'Story of a Soul', we made her our role model as a Christian. But we soon realized we can never be pure and holy like her as we're just an ordinary mortal. Mahina. Makasalanan. 

But we still look up to her and her simplicity and total devotion to her faith. We just ask the Lord to be more patient and understanding with us and forgive us our sins.