About Our Shrines and Statues
Saint Therese of the Infant Jesus
“I have always desired to become a saint, but in comparing myself with the saints I have always felt that I am as far removed from them as a grain of sand is from the mountain whose summit is lost in the clouds.”
“Instead of feeling discouraged by such reflections, I concluded that God would would not inspire a wish which could not be realized, and that in spite of my littleness I might aim at being a saint. ‘It is impossible,’ I said, ‘for me to become great, so I must bear with myself and my many imperfections; but I will seek out a means of reaching Heaven by a little way – very short, very straight, and entirely new’. We live in an age of inventions: there are now lifts which save us the trouble of climbing stairs. I will try to find a lift by which I may be raised to God, for I am too small to climb the steep stairway of perfection.”
“My little way is the way of spiritual childhood, the path of confidence and complete surrender, in which it is necessary to do one thing only – to cast before Jesus the flowers of little sacrifices.”
“Keeping like a child before God means recognizing our own nothingness and expecting everything from the goodness of God just as a little child looks to its father for everything. It means worrying about nothing, not even about gaining spiritual riches. Very poor people always give a child what he needs, but as soon as he is grown up his father no longer wants to provide for him but tells him to work and look after himself. Because I have never wanted to hear that said to me, I have never wished to grow up; I feel incapable of earning my living – of earning eternal life! And so I have always stayed a little child, doing nothing but gathering flowers of love and sacrifice and offering them to God to please Him.“
“If I did not simply live from one moment to the next, it would be impossible for me to keep my patience. I can see only the present; I forget the past and I take good care not to think about the future… we get discouraged and feel despair because we brood about the past and the future… it is such folly to pass one’s time fretting, instead of resting quietly on the Heart of Jesus.“
“O my God, I desire to love Thee and to make Thee loved, to labour for the glory of Holy Church… I desire to accomplish Thy Will perfectly; in a word, I desire to be a saint. But I know how helpless I am, I implore Thee, O my God, to be Thyself my sanctity.”
These are the words of Therese Martin, the girl who desired to be a saint.
On May 17, 1925 the voice of the Vicar of Christ, Pope Pius XI, echoed through the vast Basilica of St. Peter, canonizing the girl who “above all things excelled in the love of God.” Less than thirty-seven years before, Therese, a young provincial girl, had knelt and prayed within the Basilica where she was canonized; less than twenty-eight years before, Therese, an unknown nun, had gone to the infirmary of her convent to die. Now on this May morning she, who on earth tried to be God’s little child, rose in glory, the newest and one of the most dazzling stars of the Catholic Church.