The Back of the Book: Born in 1873 at Alencon in France, Marie Francoise Therese Martin died in 1897 aged 24 of advanced intestinal tuberculosis, at her Carmel convent in Lisieux. 100 years later John Paul II declared her a Doctor of the Church. She was canonised as a saint, in record time, only 28 years after her death. She never went to university, hardly travelled, had no academic or other titles. Yet she (through her story and writings) was almost a household name during the Great War of 1914. This authoritative life of Therese, a true classic, tells the story of one of Christ’s true ‘little ones’.
The relics of St Therese, which have so far visited nearly 40 countries, will be coming to England and Wales in September 2009. There will be an opportunity to venerate them at major locations. Wherever St Therese’s relics have gone, there have been many graces of conversion, healing and discovery of vocation. Full details, visit www.catholicrelics.co.uk.
Review: It seems appropriate that this ‘little’ Saint should be celebrated in a little book. It’s hardly more than a booklet, to be honest, but I’m counting it because it has an ISBN number. The author gives us a very uplifting portrait of Therese from her family history right up to the events which occurred after her death. I still feel that her ‘Little Way’ is beyond my reach, though.