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AboutDealRocker Coupons & Deals Blog : Follow our posts on regular basis to stay in-the-know about hottest online deals, free coupons, discounts, sales, deals and free shipping offers available at various online stores. It was, however, in mid-winter, January 2, 1873, that this ninth child of Louis Martin and Zelie Guerin was born. All was joy at first, but soon the tender bud drooped on its delicate stem: little hope was held out—it must wither and die. With the brother of Zelie Guerin the reader will make acquaintance in the narrative of Therese.
The Father of Therese, after the death of his wife, likewise made his home in the delightful town which lies amid the beautiful apple orchards of the valley of the Touques. This is not true of the sainted authoress of the chapters that follow—”less radiant,” in the medium of a translation. This new translation relates more fully the story of the childhood, girlhood, and brief convent days of Soeur Therese.
Before setting about my task I knelt before the statue of Our Lady which had given my family so many proofs of Our Heavenly Mother’s loving care.[2] As I knelt I begged of that dear Mother to guide my hand, and thus ensure that only what was pleasing to her should find place here. They threw a clear light upon the mystery of my vocation and of my entire life, and above all upon the favours which Our Lord has granted to my soul.
I often asked myself why God had preferences, why all souls did not receive an equal measure of grace. I understood this also, that God’s Love is made manifest as well in a simple soul which does not resist His grace as in one more highly endowed. You will wonder, dear Mother, to what all this is leading, for till now I have said nothing that sounds like the story of my life; but did you not tell me to write quite freely whatever came into my mind?
I am now at a time of life when I can look back on the past, for my soul has been refined in the crucible of interior and exterior trials.
And so it gives me great joy, dear Mother, to come to you and sing His unspeakable mercies. If a little flower could speak, it seems to me that it would tell us quite simply all that God has done for it, without hiding any of its gifts.
The Little Flower, that now tells her tale, rejoiced in having to publish the wholly undeserved favours bestowed upon her by Our Lord. And now, dear Mother, having summed up in a few words all that God’s goodness has done for me, I will relate in detail the story of my childhood. It extends from the dawn of reason to the death of my dearly loved Mother; in other words, till I was four years and eight months old. You can hardly imagine how much I loved my Father and Mother, and, being very demonstrative, I showed my love in a thousand little ways, though the means I employed make me smile now when I think of them.
Dear Mother, you have given me the letters which my Mother wrote at this time to Pauline, who was at school at the Visitation Convent at Le Mans. I was nearly three years old when my Mother wrote: “Little Therese asked me the other day if she would go to Heaven. Leonie had also a very warm place in my heart; she loved me very much, and her love was returned. I had another fault also, of which my Mother did not speak in her letters: it was self-love. With such a disposition I feel sure that had I been brought up by careless parents I should have become very wicked, and perhaps have lost my soul.
It is quite true that I could not be separated from Celine; I would rather leave my dessert unfinished at table than let her go without me, and I would get down from my high chair when she did, and off we went to play together. But, dear Mother, I am forgetting myself—I must not tell you yet of my girlhood, I am still speaking of the baby of three and four years old. How quickly those sunny years of my childhood passed away, and what tender memories they have imprinted on my mind! I was to be the Spouse of Our Lord at such an early age that it was necessary I should suffer from my childhood.
Fifteen years later I was again standing by another coffin, that of our holy Mother Genevieve,[1] and I was carried back to the days of my childhood.
Our Lord did not leave me wholly an orphan; on the day of my Mother’s funeral He gave me another mother, and allowed me to choose her freely. I must tell you that after my Mother’s death my naturally happy disposition completely changed.
Soon after my Mother’s death, Papa made up his mind to leave Alencon and live at Lisieux, so that we might be near our uncle, my Mother’s brother. The next day they took us to our new home, Les Buissonets,[2] situated in a quiet part of the town. When I woke there were my sisters ready to caress me, and I said my prayers kneeling between them.
On returning home I learnt my lessons, and then spent the rest of the day playing in the garden near Papa.
Those were specially happy days for me when I went fishing with my dear “King,” as I used to call him. The afternoon passed quickly away, and it was soon time to go home, but before packing up I would eat the provisions I had brought in a small basket.
Speaking of clouds, I remember how one day when we were out, the blue sky became overcast and a storm came on, accompanied by vivid lightning. I do not think I have told you that in our daily walks at Lisieux, as in Alencon, I often used to give alms to the beggars.
Well instructed as to what I was to do, I entered the confessional, and turning round to the priest, so as to see him better, I made my confession and received absolution in a spirit of lively faith—my sister having assured me that at this solemn moment the tears of the Holy Child Jesus would purify my soul.
And if the great feasts came but seldom, each week brought one very dear to my heart, and that was Sunday. Later on we went upstairs for night prayers, and there again my place was beside my beloved Father, and I had only to look at him to know how the Saints pray. To this dearly loved sister I confided my most intimate thoughts; she cleared up all my doubts.
Seeing Papa so cheerful, no suspicion of the terrible trials which awaited him crossed my mind; but one day God showed me, in an extraordinary vision, a vivid picture of the trouble to come.
It was all over in a moment, but it was a moment which impressed itself so deeply on my memory that even now, after so many years, the remembrance of it is as vivid as the vision itself. Time to update your Summer closet with Fall staples, especially when you have a golden chance to pick new fashion staples with discounted price tags.
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They strictly observed the fasts and abstinences of the Church, kept Sunday as a day of complete rest from work in spite of the remonstrance of friends, and found in pious reading their most delightful recreation.
Husband and wife set aside each year a considerable portion of their earnings for the Propagation of the Faith; they relieved poor persons in distress, and ministered to them with their own hands. Again and again, in the pages of her Autobiography, she calls herself by this modest name of the Little Flower, emblematic of her humility, her purity, her simplicity, and it may be added, of the poetry of her soul. Francis waived his claim in favour of the great Reformer of the Carmelite Order: the child recovered, and so retained her sweet name of Therese. Her sister—in religion, Sister Marie Dosithea—led a life so holy at Le Mans that she was cited by Dom Gueranger, perhaps the most distinguished Benedictine of the nineteenth century, as the model of a perfect nun. In her own inimitable pages, as in those of a Campion or an Ignatius, a Teresa of Avila, or a John of the Cross—the Spirit of Poetry is the handmaiden of Holiness.
It will do so in words that do not merely tell of love but set the heart on fire, and at the same time lay bare the workings of God in a soul that “since the age of three never refused the Good God anything.” The writing of this Autobiography was an act of obedience, and the Prioress who imposed the task sought, in all simplicity, her own personal edification.
When you asked me to write it, I feared the task might unsettle me, but since then Our Lord has deigned to make me understand that by simple obedience I shall please Him best. I was filled with wonder when I saw extraordinary favours showered on great sinners like St.
He showed me the book of nature, and I understood that every flower created by Him is beautiful, that the brilliance of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not lessen the perfume of the violet or the sweet simplicity of the daisy. In fact, the characteristic of love being self-abasement, if all souls resembled the holy Doctors who have illuminated the Church, it seems that God in coming to them would not stoop low enough. So, it will not be my life properly speaking, that you will find in these pages, but my thoughts about the graces which it has pleased Our Lord to bestow on me.
Now, like a flower after the storm, I can raise my head and see that the words of the Psalm are realised in me: “The Lord is my Shepherd and I shall want nothing.
It would not, under the pretext of humility, say that it was not pretty, or that it had not a sweet scent, that the sun had withered its petals, or the storm bruised its stem, if it knew that such were not the case.
She knows that she had nothing in herself worthy of attracting Him: His Mercy alone showered blessings on her.
I know that, though to others it may seem wearisome, your motherly heart will find pleasure in it.
God, in His goodness, did me the favour of awakening my intelligence very early, and He has imprinted the recollections of my childhood so deeply in my memory that past events seem to have happened but yesterday.
My first recollections are of loving smiles and tender caresses; but if He made others love me so much, He made me love them too, for I was of an affectionate nature. I remember perfectly the events they refer to, but it will be easier for me simply to quote some passages, though these charming letters, inspired by a Mother’s love, are too often full of my praises.
Without seeming to do so, I took in all that I saw and heard, and I think that I reflected on things then as I do now. In the evening when she came home from school she used to take care of me while the others went out, and it seems to me I can still hear the sweet songs she sang to put me to sleep.
But Jesus watched over His little Spouse, and turned even her faults to advantage, for, being checked early in life, they became a means of leading her towards perfection. On Sundays, as I was still too small to go to the long services, Mamma stayed at home to take care of me.
After thinking about it for a minute, I put out my hand saying: “I choose everything,” and I carried off both doll and basket without more ado.
Later on, when the way of perfection was opened out before me, I realised that in order to become a Saint one must suffer much, always seek the most perfect path, and forget oneself.
I thought I was walking alone in the garden when, suddenly, I saw near the arbour two hideous little devils dancing with surprising agility on a barrel of lime, in spite of the heavy irons attached to their feet.
I remember the Sunday walks when my dear Mother always accompanied us; and I can still feel the impression made on my childish heart at the sight of the fields bright with cornflowers, poppies, and marguerites. As the early spring flowers begin to come up under the snow and open at the first rays of the sun, so the Little Flower whose story I am writing had to pass through the winter of trial and to have her tender cup filled with the dew of tears.


I remember especially her last weeks on earth, when Celine and I felt like poor little exiles.
Memories crowded upon me; it was the same little Therese who looked at it, but she had grown, and the coffin seemed small. It was the most sorrowful of all, especially after Pauline, my second Mother, entered the Carmel; and it lasted from the time I was four years old until I was fourteen, when I recovered much of my childish gaiety, even though I understood more fully the serious side of life. Instead of being lively and demonstrative as I had been, I became timid, shy, and extremely sensitive; a look was enough to make me burst into tears. He made this sacrifice in order that my young sisters should have the benefit of their aunt’s guidance in their new life, and that she might act as a mother towards them.
Then Pauline gave me my reading lesson, and I remember that “Heaven” was the first word I could read alone.
I never cared for dolls, but one of my favourite amusements was making coloured mixtures with seeds and the bark of trees.
Sometimes I tried my hand with a small rod of my own, but generally I preferred to sit on the grass some distance away. Somehow the slices of bread and jam, prepared by my sisters, looked different; they had seemed so tempting, and now they looked stale and uninviting.
I often offered my heart to Him, using the words my Mother had taught me, and I tried very hard to please Him in all my actions, taking great care never to offend Him. My sisters decided that I was too small to go to the May devotions every evening, so I stayed at home with the nurse and said my prayers with her before the little altar which I had arranged according to my own taste. I am going to light the candles.” She tried to begin, and then looked at me and burst out laughing.
I remember well that he exhorted me above all to a tender devotion towards Our Lady, and I promised to redouble my love for her who already filled so large a place in my heart. This happy day which passed so quickly had also its touch of melancholy; my happiness was full till Compline, but after that a feeling of sadness took possession of me.
After a game of draughts my sisters read aloud Dom Gueranger’s Liturgical Year, and then a few pages of some other interesting and instructive book. Sometimes in the evening Pauline would send me to fetch something from a distant room; she would take no refusal, and she was quite right, for otherwise I should have become very nervous, whereas now it is difficult to frighten me.
One day I expressed surprise that God does not give an equal amount of glory to all the elect in Heaven—I was afraid that they would not all be quite happy. Though I was the only competitor, justice was none the less strictly observed, and I never received rewards unless they were well merited. Hearing me call “Papa!” they were frightened themselves, but Marie, hiding her feelings, ran to me and said: “Why are you calling Papa, when he is at Alencon?” I told her what I had seen, and to reassure me they said that Nurse must have covered her head with her apron on purpose to frighten me.
They prayed in common—after the touching example of Captain Martin, whose devout way of repeating the Our Father brought tears to all eyes.
On one occasion Monsieur Martin, like a good Samaritan, was seen to raise a drunken man from the ground in a busy thoroughfare, take his bag of tools, support him on his arm, and lead him home. The reader will learn in the Epilogue how it was also used by one of her favourite martyr-saints—the now Blessed Theophane Venard. Francis de Sales,” wrote her aunt from the convent at Le Mans, “and you must promise, if the child recovers, to call her by her second name, Frances.” This was a sword-thrust for the Mother. Sorrow, however, was mixed with the Mother’s joy, when it became necessary to send the babe to a foster-mother in the country. By her own confession, she had never been guilty from earliest childhood of the smallest deliberate fault.
This new lover of flowers and student of the stars, this “strewer of roses,” has uplifted a million hearts from the “base earth” and “black fog” to the very throne of God, and her mission is as yet but begun. Photograph taken by Celine, in the meadow outside the convent, alongside the alley of chestnut trees, June 1896. I understood that if all the lowly flowers wished to be roses, nature would lose its springtide beauty, and the fields would no longer be enamelled with lovely hues. But He has created the little child, who knows nothing and can but utter feeble cries, and the poor savage who has only the natural law to guide him, and it is to their hearts that He deigns to stoop. This thought will help me to speak freely, without troubling either about style or about the many digressions that I shall make; for a Mother’s heart always understands her child, even when it can only lisp, and so I am sure of being understood and my meaning appreciated.
He allowed her to grow in holy soil enriched with the odour of purity, and preceded by eight lilies of shining whiteness. In the story of my soul, up to the time of my entry into the Carmel, there are three clearly marked periods: the first, in spite of its shortness, is by no means the least rich in memories.
Therese received the veil, she asked Mother Marie de Gonzague to confer upon her the second name of the Holy Face.
The dear little thing will hardly leave me, she follows me everywhere, but likes going into the garden best; when I am not there she refuses to stay, and cries so much that they are obliged to bring her back. She is the Queen!” Then he would lift me on to his shoulder, and caress me in all sorts of ways. She had got out of her cot by herself, and had come downstairs with bare feet, stumbling over her long nightdress. I listened attentively while she taught Celine, and was very good and obedient, so as to obtain the privilege of being allowed in the room during lessons.
I remember perfectly the day of her First Communion, and I remember also her companion, the poor child whom my Mother dressed, according to the touching custom of the well-to-do families in Alencon. We understood each other perfectly, but I was much more forward and lively, and far less ingenuous. For instance, as I had great self-love and an innate love of good as well, it was enough to tell me once: “You must not do that,” and I never wanted to do it again. Nurse has given Therese two bantams, and every day after dinner she and Celine sit by the fire and play with them. I was always very good, walking about on tip-toe; but as soon as I heard the door open there was a tremendous outburst of joy—I threw myself on my dear little sister, exclaiming: “Oh, Celine! I also understood that there are many degrees of holiness, that each soul is free to respond to the calls of Our Lord, to do much or little for His Love—in a word, to choose amongst the sacrifices He asks. At first they cast fiery glances at me; then, as though suddenly terrified, I saw them, in the twinkling of an eye, throw themselves down to the bottom of the barrel, from which they came out somehow, only to run and hide themselves in the laundry which opened into the garden.
Probably my character was the same as it is now, for even then I had great self-command, and made a practice of never complaining when my things were taken; even if I was unjustly accused, I preferred to keep silence.
Even at that age I loved far-stretching views, sunlit spaces and stately trees; in a word, all nature charmed me and lifted up my soul to Heaven. Sometimes, my dear Father, knowing the way was too long for his little Queen, took me home. A like favour was granted to Therese herself, as will be seen in the course of the narrative. I do not remember having cried much, and I did not talk to anyone of all that filled my heart; I looked and listened in silence, and I saw many things they would have hidden from me. She had not to lift up her head to it, now she only raised her eyes to contemplate Heaven which seemed to her very full of joy, for trials had matured and strengthened her soul, so that nothing on earth could make her grieve. I could not bear to be noticed or to meet strangers, and was only at ease in my own family circle.
I did not feel any grief at leaving my native town: children love change and anything out of the common, and so I was pleased to come to Lisieux. The large upper window from which there was an extensive view, the flower garden in front, and the kitchen garden at the back—all these seemed delightfully new to my childish mind; and this happy home became the scene of many joys and of family gatherings which I can never forget. When lessons were over I went upstairs, where Papa was generally to be found, and how pleased I was when I had good marks to show. If the colours were pretty, I would promptly offer them to Papa in a little cup and entice him to taste them; then my dearest Father would leave his work and smilingly pretend to drink. Then my reflections became really deep, and, without knowing what meditation meant, my soul was absorbed in prayer.
Even such a trifle as this made the earth seem sadder, and I realised that only in Heaven will there be unclouded joy. A thunderbolt fell in a field close by, and, far from feeling the least bit afraid, I was delighted—it seemed that God was so near. And yet one day I committed a fault which I must tell you here—it gives me a good opportunity of humbling myself, though I believe I have grieved over it with perfect contrition. Everything was small—candlesticks, vases, and the rest; two wax vestas were quite sufficient to light it up properly. Seeing my precious vestas burning quickly away, I begged her once more to say the Memorare. Then I passed him my Rosary to be blessed, and came out of the Confessional more joyful and lighthearted than I had ever felt before. I thought of the morrow when one had to begin again the daily life of work and lessons, and my heart, feeling like an exile on this earth, longed for the repose of Heaven—the never ending Sabbath of our true Home. Orion’s belt fascinated me especially, for I saw in it a likeness to the letter “T.” “Look, Papa,” I would cry, “my name is written in Heaven!” Then, not wishing to see this dull earth any longer, I asked him to lead me, and with my head thrown back, I gazed unweariedly at the starry skies. While this was going on I established myself on Papa’s knee, and when the reading was done he used to sing soothing snatches of melody in his beautiful voice, as if to lull me to sleep, and I would lay my head on his breast while he rocked me gently to and fro.
I wonder sometimes how my little Mother was able to bring me up with so much tenderness, and yet without spoiling me, for she did not pass over the least fault.
She sent me to fetch Papa’s big tumbler, and put it beside my tiny thimble, then, filling both with water, she asked me which seemed the fuller. My heart used to beat with excitement when I heard the decisions, and in presence of the whole family received prizes from Papa’s hands. It was about two or three o’clock in the afternoon; the sun was shining brightly, and all the world seemed gay. Another time when he saw, in a railway station, a poor and starving epileptic without the means to return to his distant home, he was so touched with pity that he took off his hat and, placing in it an alms, proceeded to beg from the passengers on behalf of the sufferer.
On the manuscript of her Autobiography she set the title: “The Story of the Springtime of a little white Flower,” and in truth such it was, for long ere the rigours of life’s winter came round, the Flower was blossoming in Paradise. There the “little rose-bud” grew in beauty, and after some months had gained strength sufficient to allow of her being brought back to Alencon. Our foreign missionaries had a warm friend in the uncle of Therese—for his charities he was made godfather to an African King; and to the Catholic Press—that home missionary—he was ever most devoted. Pierre, and its wonderful specimens of quaint houses, some of which date from the twelfth century.
These are the field flowers whose simplicity charms Him; and by His condescension to them Our Saviour shows His infinite greatness. In His Love He willed to preserve her from the poisoned breath of the world—hardly had her petals unfolded when this good Master transplanted her to the mountain of Carmel, Our Lady’s chosen garden.


This child did not leave Leonie for an instant on that happy day, and in the evening at the grand dinner she sat in the place of honour. Here is a letter which will show you, dear Mother, how sweet was Celine, and how naughty Therese. Having only good example before my eyes, I naturally wished to follow it, and I see with pleasure in my Mother’s letters that as I grew older I began to be a greater comfort. And then also, as in the days of my childhood, I cried out: “My God, I choose everything, I will not be a Saint by halves, I am not afraid of suffering for Thee, I only fear one thing, and that is to do my own will. Finding them such cowards, I wanted to know what they were going to do, and, overcoming my fears, I went to the window. This was a cause of grief, and to console me Celine would fill her basket with daisies, and give them to me on her return. Once, we had not had time to say our prayers before starting, and on the way my little sister whispered: “Must we tell her that we have not said our prayers?” “Yes,” I answered. There I was always cherished with the most loving care; my Father’s affectionate heart seemed endowed with a mother’s love, and my sisters were no less tender and devoted. I remember the journey quite well, and our arrival in the evening at my uncle’s house, and I can still see my little cousins, Jeanne and Marie, waiting on the doorstep with my aunt. Elsewhere, as I said before, I felt an exile, I cried and fretted for my Mother; but here my little heart expanded, and I smiled on life once more. Every afternoon I went out for a walk with him, and we paid a visit to the Blessed Sacrament in one or other of the Churches. I was very fond of flowers, and amused myself by making little altars in holes which I happened to find in the middle of my garden wall.
Far-off sounds reached me, the murmuring of the wind, sometimes a few uncertain notes of music from a military band in the town a long way off; all this imparted a touch of melancholy to my thoughts.
Papa was not so pleased, and put an end to my reverie, for already the tall grass and daisies, taller than I, were sparkling with rain-drops, and we had to cross several fields to reach the road. He looked sadly at me for a long time, and then, shaking his head with a sorrowful smile, he refused my alms. I have always thought that my childish prayer for this suffering member of Christ has been blessed and rewarded. It was evening, and as soon as I got to a street lamp I stopped and took the newly blessed Rosary out of my pocket, turning it over and over. Will the Angels watch over me?” The answer was always “Yes,” otherwise I should have spent the whole night in tears. It is true she never scolded me without cause, and I knew well she would never change her mind when once a thing was decided upon. I replied that one was as full as the other—it was impossible to pour more water into either of them, for they could not hold it.
I was alone at the window, looking on to the kitchen garden, my mind full of cheerful thoughts, when I saw before me, in front of the wash-house, a man dressed exactly like Papa, of the same height and appearance, but more bent and aged.
Money poured in, and it was with a heart brimming over with gratitude that the sick man blessed his benefactor.
It was in the convent made fragrant by such holiness that her niece Pauline Martin, elder sister and “little mother” of Therese, and for five years her Prioress at the Carmel, received her education.
Founder, at Lisieux, of the Nocturnal Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and a zealous member of the Society of St. In matters of faith it is neither fervent nor hostile, and in 1877 its inhabitants little thought that through their new citizen, Marie Francoise Therese Martin, their town would be rendered immortal. He has been pleased to create great Saints who may be compared to the lily and the rose, but He has also created lesser ones, who must be content to be daisies or simple violets flowering at His Feet, and whose mission it is to gladden His Divine Eyes when He deigns to look down on them. As the sun shines both on the cedar and on the floweret, so the Divine Sun illumines every soul, great and small, and all correspond to His care—just as in nature the seasons are so disposed that on the appointed day the humblest daisy shall unfold its petals.
I was proud of my two big sisters; but as Pauline seemed so far away from us, I thought of her all day long. The wretched little creatures were there, running about on the tables, not knowing how to hide themselves from my gaze. Truly everything on earth smiled on me; I found flowers strewn at every step, and my naturally happy disposition helped to make life bright. I stood looking at it for a long time; I had never seen one before, but I knew what it was. If Our Lord had not lavished so much love and sunshine on His Little Flower, she never could have become acclimatised to this earth. In spite of his fishing tackle, he carried me in his arms while I looked down in the beautiful jewelled drops, almost sorry that I could not be drenched by them. I cannot tell you what I felt; I had wished to help and comfort him, and instead of that, I had, perhaps, hurt him and caused him pain. First of all the whole family went to High Mass, and I remember that before the sermon we had to come down from our places, which were some way from the pulpit, and find seats in the nave.
I was always glad when mine came, and it was a pleasure to listen to my uncle’s conversation.
In this way Pauline made it clear to me that in Heaven the least of the Blessed does not envy the happiness of the greatest; and so, by bringing the highest mysteries down to the level of my understanding, she gave my soul the food it needed. I say aged, to describe his general appearance, for I did not see his face as his head was covered with a thick veil. Grab 40% discount on any order or enjoy 40% off highest-priced item plus 15% off rest of your order.
And if the Little Flower may have imbibed the liturgical spirit from her teachers, the daughters of St. In reading the lives of the Saints I was surprised to see that there were certain privileged souls, whom Our Lord favoured from the cradle to the grave, allowing no obstacle in their path which might keep them from mounting towards Him, permitting no sin to soil the spotless brightness of their baptismal robe. I was too small to stay up for this feast, but I shared in it a little, thanks to Papa’s goodness, for he came himself to bring his little Queen a piece of the iced cake. Marie has given her little sisters a string of beads on purpose to count their acts of self-denial. From time to time they came nearer, peering through the windows with an uneasy air, then, seeing that I was still there, they began to run about again looking quite desperate. I was so small that I had to lift up my head to see its whole length, and it seemed to me very big and very sad.
Still too weak to bear the storm, she needed warmth, refreshing dew, and soft breezes, and these gifts were never wanting to her, even in the chilling seasons of trials. I should never stop if I told you of the thousand and one incidents of this kind that I can remember.
He must have guessed my thought, for I saw him turn round and smile at me when we were some way off. I got up feeling dreadfully angry, and, stamping my foot furiously, I cried out: “Victoire, you naughty girl!” She stopped laughing at once, and looked at me in utter astonishment, then showed me—too late—the surprise she had in store hidden under her apron—two pieces of candle.
His talk was serious, but it interested me, and he little knew that I paid such attention; but my joy was not unmixed with fear when he took me on his knee and sang “Bluebeard” in his deep voice. Benedict in Lisieux, so that she could say before her death: “I do not think it is possible for anyone to have desired more than I to assist properly at choir and to recite perfectly the Divine Office”—may it not be to the influences from Le Mans that may be traced something of the honey-sweet spirit of St.
The like imaginative strain, so scorned of our petty day, inhered in all the lofty souls of that age.
And again it puzzled me why so many poor savages should die without having even heard the name of God. I hurried upstairs, not waiting this time to call Mamma at each step; my one thought was to find Papa and make my peace with him.
She is a very intelligent child, but has not nearly so sweet a disposition as her sister, and her stubbornness is almost unconquerable.
Of course this dream was nothing extraordinary; yet I think Our Lord made use of it to show me that a soul in the state of grace has nothing to fear from the devil, who is a coward, and will even fly from the gaze of a little child. My tears of anger were soon changed into tears of sorrow; I was very much ashamed and grieved, and made a firm resolution never to act in such a way again. I was deeply impressed by the graces I had received, and wished to go to confession again for all the big feasts, for these confessions filled me with joy.
My uncle was delighted when he saw us come down; he called me his “Sunbeam,” and said that to see the venerable old man leading his little daughter by the hand was a sight which always filled him with joy.
I expected to see him reappear at the other side of the big trees, but the prophetic vision had vanished. 42 informs the passers-by that here was born a certain Carmelite, by name, Sister Teresa of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. I remember once, when my sister had an apricot given to her, she leant towards me and said: “We will not eat it, I will give it to Mamma.” Alas! I never troubled myself if people looked at me, I was only occupied in listening attentively to the preacher. Fifteen years have gone since the meeting in Heaven of Madame Martin and her Carmelite child, and if the pilgrimage to where the Little Flower first saw the light of day, be not so large as that to the grave where her remains await their glorious resurrection, it may nevertheless be numbered in thousands.
A sermon on the Passion of our Blessed Lord was the first I understood, and it touched me deeply. And to the English-speaking pilgrim there is an added pleasure in the fact that her most notable convert, the first minister of the United Free Church of Scotland to enter the True Fold, performs, with his convert wife, the courteous duties of host.
There she would drink of the mysterious wine which Jesus, at His Last Supper, promised to share with us in the Kingdom of His Father.
I was then five and a half, and after that time I was able to understand and appreciate all instructions. Above all I loved the procession of the Blessed Sacrament: what a joy it was to strew flowers in God’s path! But before scattering them on the ground I threw them high in the air, and was never so happy as when I saw my rose-leaves touch the sacred Monstrance. Sometimes his eyes were filled with tears which he strove in vain to keep back; and as he listened to the eternal truths he seemed no longer of this earth, his soul was absorbed in the thought of another world.
Many long and sorrowful years had to pass before Heaven was to be opened to him, and Our Lord with His Own Divine Hand was to wipe away the bitter tears of His faithful servant.




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