Listen to God's voice at the foot of the crucifix." ~St. Gaspar del Bufaro~

Friday, October 1, 2010

St. Therese...Walking In Her Footsteps

Statue of St. Therese in The Basilica~Lisieux, France

~Happy Feast of St. Therese!~
I was blessed to be able to visit Lisieux, France a little over 2 years ago so I thought I'd share some photos of the place that Therese Martin lived most of her life!  I thought people may find it interesting to take a peek into the real world of this beloved saint.  Enjoy the tour as we walk in the footsteps of St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face!

My oldest son and I were able to travel to Europe to visit some relatives in Switzerland.  We decided to make it a "pilgrimage" trip, as well as catch some world history sites that he had been studying while homeschooling.
This is a photo at the train station in Lisieux...very quaint and lovely place.  You can see the Basilica (in the background) that has been erected in honor of St. Therese.
We were fortunate to be able to travel during the month of May.  The town was quiet and there were very little tourists.
~It was amazing blessing that we were here on May 13, 2007...It was Mother's Day back in the USA~

~We took a cab down the hill to the Basilica~
We learned that it is one of the largest basilicas in the twentieth century.
The first stone was layed in 1929. A short 25 years later in 1954, the basilica was consecrated.

Inside the Basilica
It was breath-taking to attend Mass here, even in French!
~This is the back of the basilica as you are departing~
"My vocation is love...In the heart of the Church, my mother; I shall be Love."
~St. Therese~
These were the graves of St. Therese's parents, side by side, behind the basilica.
I know this sounds weird but this was one of the highlights of my life...Standing at the grave of the "Mother of a Saint" on Mother's Day! 
I offered up all Mothers to Zelie Martin that day.
Though her mother was only able to spend 4 short years with Therese, she was surely sending love and prayers from heaven.
*Pope John Paul II declared Zelie and Louis Martin 'Venerable' in 1994*
"The good God gave me a father and a mother more worthy of Heaven than of earth."
St. Therese
And her dear Father...
~This is a beautiful statue of St. Therese over the graves of her parents~
Our next stop was "Les Buissonnets"
which I was told meant "sweet nest of childhood".
This was the charming home of little Therese where she lived, growing up, from 1877-1888.
This is the bedroom where Therese was cured by the smile of the Blessed Virgin on May 13, 1883.
Our visit took place on May 13, 2007...124 years later.
It was amazing how well-preserved this home remains!
~This was a replica of Our Lady of the Smile..The original is located at the Carmelite Convent~
My son bought me a mini replica of this gorgeous statue while we were there...One of my favorite treasures!
Our Lady of the Smile
A final room in the house allowed us to see Therese's toys and familiar objects.
A close-up view of the items that belonged to little Therese...
And on to the backyard...

This statuary marks the place where, on May 29, 1887, Therese asked her father for permission to enter Carmel.
"Perfection consists in doing His will, in being what the good God wants us to be."
~A display of actual photos of the Martin family~
Our next stop was The Cathedral of St. Pierre where St. Therese attended Mass with her family and received her sacraments of Reconciliation and First Communion...
"Come live in my heart, Jesus, my white Host."
~St. Therese~
This Gothic church dates back to the end of the 12th century!
Monsieur Martin, Therese's father, offered this high altar to the cathedral in 1888.
Our last stop was the Carmelite Convent...
It was with great sadness that we found it under construction!
We were unable to tour The Carmel where Therese lived from April 9, 1888- September 30, 1897.
Inside Carmel are the remains of St. Therese, brought from the Cemetery in 1923.  They are placed at the base of a shrine in her honor.  Above the shrine, there is the original statue of the Virgin of the Smile.
An area of the convent is reserved for the present-day Carmelite sisters' community.
"I came to the Carmel to save souls and especially to pray for priests."
~St. Therese~
St. Therese was canonized a Saint on May 17, 1925 by Pope Pius XI.  On October 19, 1997, she was proclaimed a 'Doctor of the Church', by Pope John Paul II.  Of the Doctors of the Church, she is the youngest.
~Pope John Paul II visited Lisieux as a pilgrim on June 2, 1980~

As pilgrims, we too were able to discover the fullness of her message of hope and love.  We felt as though she accompanied us through the footsteps of her life.  To this day, we continue to be blessed by the Little Flower and her shower of roses...She is a powerful intercessor!
"When I am in heaven, you will have to fill my little hands with prayers and sacrifices to give me the pleasure of casting these as a shower of graces upon souls."

~St. Therese~
Hope you enjoyed the tour!
Little Flower Cupcakes 
(from our Archives) 
to help remind us that we are all God's little flowers that long to bloom in the garden of God's love...

A Novena Rose Prayer
(From the Society of the Little Flower)
O Little Therese of the Child Jesus, please pick for me a rose from the heavenly gardens and send it to me as a message of love.
O Little Flower of Jesus, ask God today to grant the favors I now place with confidence in your hands...(Mention specific requests)
St. Therese, help me to always believe as you did, in God's great love for me, so that I might imitate your "Little Way" each day.  Amen.

*In this previous post, we did some Little Flower crafts and listed some resource links for this wonderful feast day*
Also, Jessica, from Shower of Roses has an amazing set of ideas to celebrate!
~God Bless your families on this special feast~
St. Therese, please pray and intercede for us!


  1. Thank you for this beautiful tour! What an awesome trip to be able to take with your son.

  2. I just sat here showing this to my daughters and all we can say is, "Wow!" Thank you for sharing this beautiful tour. You are so blessed to have seen this. The pictures of her childhood home are just amazing!

  3. Tiffany, what a blessing you had with this trip! I had to show the pictures to my oldest daughter, Therese is her patron saint! I hope one day we could go too! Many thanks for taking the time to explain all your pictures!!

  4. Blessed, indeed!
    I'm so very thankful for your generous sharing of your pilgrimages. My family and I have lived vicariously through our friends' pilgrimages, yours included.
    Pax Christi - Lena

  5. Lovely, Tiffany!!! Thank you so very much! Looking at these pictures and reading of your experience made my day! Happy Feast of St. Therese!


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