This Saturday, 1st October, is the Memorial of St. Teresa of the Child Jesus, St. Therese of Lisieux (1873-1897). Marie Francoise Therese Martin was born in Lisieux in 1873. She entered Carmel with a special permission when aged only fifteen. Her health prevented her observing the fasts prescribed by the rule, but she followed the life in all of its other details until her final sickness and death in 1897, aged twenty-four. She pioneered in the Church of the nineteenth century ‘the little way, i.e., fidelity in small things, trust and complete self-surrender to God. She had wanted to go on the missions, but her health made this impossible. Instead, her apostolate was to be one of offering up her day-to-day life for the mission of the Church. She speaks about this in her autobiography The Story of a Soul. She was canonised in 1925 and declared a patron of the Church’s missionary apostolate. In Divini Amoris Scientia, the 1997 Apostolic Letter proclaiming St. Thérèse of Lisieux a Doctor of the Church, Pope John Paul II said: Thérèse knew Jesus; with the passion of a bride, she loved Him and made Him loved. She penetrated the mysteries of His infancy, the words of His Gospel, the passion engraved on His holy Face, and the splendour of His Eucharistic presence. The brief but holy life of St. Thérèse has made her the most popular saint of our times. In WWI, French soldiers going into battle commonly kept on their person a holy picture with her image. In her last agony, she said: I am not dying: I’m entering life. Her last words were: My God I love you. All her life long, she saw herself as a Bride of Christ.