Genesis of the introduction of the Cause
En 1907, Mgr Lemonnier, bishop of Bayeux and Lisieux, invites the Carmelites of Lisieux to write down their memories of Sister Thérèse, then gives his imprimatur to a prayer to obtain his beatification. In January 1909, Father Rodrigue de Saint-François de Paule, ocd, and Mgr de Teil are respectively named postulator and vice-postulator of the Cause.
Initially, the process of the ordinary takes place (trial of the writings, informative process and process of non-worship), and then the apostolic process.
The Trial of the Writings
Le 10th February 1910, the Sacred Congregation of Rites issues a rescript for the opening of a small preparatory process for the research of the writings of Sister Thérèse. In April, a mandate from Mgr Lemonnier to research the writings was proclaimed from the pulpit in all the churches of the diocese and distributed in the national Catholic dailies. The trial takes place from May 22 to June 12. Ten witnesses who had been in possession of documents written by Thérèse were interviewed. The collected documents are then given to the Sacred Congregation of Rites by Canon Deslandes, court notary.
The informative trial
Le August 3, 1910, the diocesan tribunal responsible for investigating the Cause of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus is constituted. THE 12 August, the ordinary process is opened: Thérèse officially becomes “Servant of God”. The court conducted a total of 93 interrogation sessions during which 48 witnesses were heard, all answering thirty questions relating to Thérèse's heroic virtues, reputation for holiness and miracles. Eleven of the witnesses are questioned more particularly about the miracles attributed to the Servant of God.
The non-cult trial
The non-worship trial takes place over a week, from August 30 to September 7, 1911. This process aims to verify that no official worship is paid to the Servant of God, but also to note the obvious devotion that is developing. To do this, the members of the tribunal questioned sixteen witnesses during ten sessions, then visited the different places of Teresian devotion in Lisieux: the Carmel, the cemetery and Les Buissonnets.
Study of the documents of the diocesan process in Rome
The diocesan trial closed on 12th December 1911 in the chapel of the major seminary of Bayeux. From then on, all the pieces were sent to Rome to be studied. A year later, the writings of the Servant of God were approved. At the end of 1913, Father Rodrigue obtained that the debates on the informative and non-cult trials were opened without waiting for the canonical deadline of ten years after the submission of the file. THE 10th June 1914, Pope Pius X signs the introduction of the Cause: the Holy See officially takes up the cause of canonization of Sister Thérèse.
The apostolic process
Le March 17, 1915, the apostolic process is opened in the sacristy of Bayeux Cathedral. It will be carried out in two stages: firstly the “inchoate” trial, during which witnesses over fifty years old are heard “so that the evidence is not lost”, and then, from the 1er April 1916, the “continuative” trial relating to the heroicity of the virtues and the reality of miracles, but not to the reputation of holiness, the court having been exempted from this investigation following the sending of numerous petitions from Poilus. The trial closed in Bayeux Cathedral on October 30, 1917. The validity of the procedure is then studied and recognized in Rome.
The beatification procedure requires recognition of the remains of the Servant of God. For this, two exhumations of Thérèse's body took place: the first on September 6, 1910 and the second 9 and 10 August 1917.
Thérèse becomes “Venerable”
Le August 14, 1921, Benedict XV promulgates the decree on the heroic virtues of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus. She thus officially becomes “Venerable”. The Pope then delivers a speech on the “Little Path of Spiritual Childhood” which greatly delights Thérèse’s sisters.
The Miracles of Beatification
The final step before Beatification is the approval of two miracles. Three are proposed to the Sacred Congregation of Rites and studied by six medical experts appointed by office (two for each miracle). The two miracles retained are the following: the healing of Sister Louise Saint-Germain, of the Daughters of the Cross of Ustaritz, suffering from a fatal hemorrhagic stomach ulcer, and that of Father Charles Anne, of Lisieux, of galloping pulmonary tuberculosis.
The translation of the relics to Carmel
Le March 26, 1923, Thérèse's relics were exhumed a third time to be transferred to Carmel, where the shrine chapel was built in anticipation of the Beatification. On this occasion many miracles occurred.
Thérèse is beatified by Pope Pius XI on April 29th in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The Holy Father considers the new Blessed as “the star of his pontificate”.
The Miracles of Canonization
To be canonized, two new miracles had to be recognized. It was done on March 19, 1925 : Pius Pellemans, originally from Schaerbeek (Brussels), suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis and cured at Thérèse's grave.
The solemn Canonization of Thérèse takes place on 17th May 1925 at Saint-Pierre in Rome. Pope Pius XI delivers his homily in the presence of 23 cardinals, 250 bishops, and 50000 faithful. The Blessed is now “Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus”.