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Getting to know St Therese of Lisieux

I’ve been reading a little more about St Therese of Lisieux and thought you might be interested in knowing a bit about her life.

Here’s a snap shot:

  • Therese was the youngest of nine children born to Louis and Zelie Martin, a hard-working pair who lived in Lisieux, among the apple orchards of Normandy. Louis was a jewellery and watch maker while Zelie made lace. Zelie died when Therese was only 4, after which time her older sister Pauline was a key influence in raising her. Therese also enjoyed a very special relationship with her father and was known as his ‘little Queen’.
  • When Pauline entered the Carmelite order, Therese was only 8 ½ years of age, and made a commitment then to share the same vocation. Therese, herself, entered Carmel of Lisieux at the age of 15 and died in the same convent at the age of 24 from tuberculosis.
  • Therese showed a deep faith in God. She wrote often about God’s love and about her own care for others. One of her key messages was, “What matters in life is not great deeds, but great love.”
  • She loved nature and especially flowers, and saw herself as “the little flower of Jesus”. The rose has been described as Therese’s signature flower (which we have captured in our logo).

The message of St Therese, who was canonised in 1925, was simple. She believed in love of all things and caring for others. It is fitting for us, as a school, to focus on that spirit of love.

We have named our temporary Junior School The Carmel Centre in recognition of Therese’s convent home (thanks to all who submitted suggestions).

At Lisieux, we have also taken her inspiration for what will become our school motto: Known and Loved. There’s a modern song by artist Joel Ansett which contains the lyrics, “when you are known and loved, you are home.” I have the feeling St Therese would agree with that.

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