Ideas for Celebrating the Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux
October 1st is the feast day of one of my favorites, St. Therese of Lisieux. I always call her my best friend in Heaven and even though to some that may sound a bit odd, I truly feel that way. It was St. Therese and a few other saints that helped me convert my heart when I was about 20 years old and I have had a devotion to her ever since.
A Little Bit About Her
At the age of 13 on Christmas Eve she had a powerful experience that changed her life which she called the "Christmas Miracle". After living as a stubborn, "bratty" little girl her heart was changed from thinking constantly of herself to thinking of the salvation of others. In fact, her mother St. Zelie said, "As for [Therese], one cannot tell how she will turn out, she is so young and heedless... her stubbornness is almost unconquerable. When she has said no, nothing will make her change; one could leave her all day in the cellar without getting her to say yes. She would sooner sleep there!" It was at this "Christmas Miracle" in which she realized that she was to no longer approach things with a sense of selfishness and overreaction, but of joy and gratitude out of love for God. At the age of 15 she entered the Carmelite convent upon permission of the Pope! There she lived a cloistered life that was filled with small acts of love and hidden sacrifices.
My Friendship with St. Therese
I came to know her more through reading her very popular autobiography, "Story of a Soul", which she describes her life, conversion, time as a nun, and spirituality. I was intrigued by the fact that such a young girl could decide so fervently to live what I considered to be quite an extreme vocation, the cloistered life. I say extreme from my initial perspective because I didn't grow up in an area where there were very many religious. I didn't meet or know a sister or anyone belonging to religious life until college! However, the part that struck me most was that St. Therese was probably one of the first saints to convince me that I had a chance at Heaven, that I could be a saint too just like her! Her "little way" was simple yet profound, quiet sufferings for the salvation of souls and small acts done with great love. I saw that as my way to get to Heaven too and for much of my 20s I imperfectly learned that spirituality and let it become a part of who I am as a wife, teacher, friend, godmother, and daughter of God. St. Therese says, "I prefer the monotony of obscure sacrifice to all ecstasies. To pick up a pin for love can convert a soul." I believe that this is the life I would most likely lead, not one with mystical visions or experiences, but an ordinary life! A life of doing dishes, teaching students, cooking for a husband, coping with the anxieties of life, having brunch with friends, and all the other things that I know you do too. Essentially she taught me to sanctify the life that I am in, and to make that an offering for God.
Even though I have never met her, I love her for her life's example and what she has done for my journey. I believe that she played a major role in the discernment of my vocation which you can read about here. https://www.spokenbride.com/blog/2019/9/11/dominick-steffani
Celebrating St. Therese
She was born in Alencon, France to every year I try to do some kind of French food. Here are some ideas!
French Onion Soup
1. Paint a wooden peg doll of St. Therese
2. Make St. Therese Sacrifice Beads
3. Make these paper or felt roses and decorate your home
4. Color this printable St. Therese statue craft
5. Sacrifice cards for kids
Paper rose craft! I have also done this with felt and it was really easy. My goddaughters middle name is Rose so when she was born I gifted her with a felt rose mobile to hang above her crib.