the Carmel

Patronages and spiritual influence of Thérèse

Patronages in the Order of Carmel

From the 16th June 1923, Thérèse was named Patroness of the Novitiates of the Order of Carmel following the request of Father Élie de Saint Ambroise, Procurator General of the Discalced Carmelites.

The same year, she was named Patroness of the Carmelite Missions. The Provincial Delegation of West Bengal and North-East India bears his name.

En 1956, she became Patroness of the Carmelite Federation of Lisieux (which brings together the Carmels of the North-West of France).

Patroness of the Work of Saint Peter Apostle

Le July 29, 1925, Saint Thérèse is named by pontifical brief Patroness of the Pontifical Work of Saint Peter Apostle, created to support the native clergy.

Patroness of the Missions

Thérèse had an ardent missionary desire. Entering the Carmel to save souls, she would have liked to leave for the Carmel of Hanoi in Vietnam. The discovery of his illness prevented this project. Failing to be one herself, she will be entrusted with two missionary brothers: Father Bellière and Father Roulland.

The day after Thérèse's canonization in 1925, a petition asking that she be proclaimed patroness of the Missions was addressed to the Pope on the initiative of the missionary bishops of Canada.

Le December 14, 1927, Pius XI declares Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus “Patroness, in a special capacity, of all the Missionaries, men or women, and also of the Missions existing throughout the universe. She thus becomes their principal patroness, equal to Saint François-Xavier, with all the rights and privileges that this title entails”.

Patroness of Russian Catholics

From 1923,Thérèse was in charge of the protection of the Pontifical Russian Seminary, then in 1929, from the whole of Russia. In 1928, Mgr Michel d'Herbigny, principal adviser to the Holy See for Russian affairs, wrote an indulgent prayer to Saint Thérèse. Images of piety reproducing this text in different languages ​​are massively distributed.

On March 19, 1930, on the feast of Saint Joseph, a mass for Russia took place, followed by a litany of the saints, including Saint Thérèse.

Beginning in 1931, children's communions were organized in Lisieux each week from May 8, the anniversary date of Thérèse's first communion, in reparation for the sins suffered and committed by Russian children.

Le 28th October, 1932, Pius XI made Thérèse the secondary Patroness of the Church of Saint Anthony the Hermit in Rome, which he had just attributed to Russian Catholics, and established that her feast day would be celebrated there in the Slavic rite every year on the anniversary of her canonization on May 17.

The Oblates of Saint Thérèse and the Missionaries of Saint Thérèse

Several congregations based on Teresian spirituality will see the light of day. This is notably the case of the "Oblates de Sainte Thérèse", founded in 1933, who for many years were responsible for welcoming pilgrims to Les Buissonnets, and the "Missionaries of Sainte-Thérèse", a congregation of men founded in 1944.

The French Mission

Le July 24, 1941, the Assembly of Cardinals and Archbishops of France decides, on the initiative of Cardinal Emmanuel Suhard, Archbishop of Paris, to found a seminary intended to train priests responsible for rechristianizing France and evangelizing the dioceses deprived of priestly vocations.

This seminar, called "Mission de France", opens the 20 October next in Lisieux. His superior is Father Louis Augros. Saint Thérèse is chosen to be its Protector and serve as an example for the priests who will be trained there.

Secondary Patroness of France

Le 3th May 1944, at the request of Cardinal Suhard and in the name of the French episcopate, Pius XII raised Thérèse to the rank of “Secondary Patroness of France” equal to Saint Joan of Arc and “under the superior aegis of Our Lady Lady of the Assumption”.

In his apostolic letter, the Pope wrote:

« Since today France itself, owing to the immense ruins, both spiritual and material, which the present hard and terrible war has caused her, can be considered as a very vast field to be cultivated by missionary labor, so that the people be brought back to the faith of their ancestors and to religious practices, it seems quite beyond doubt that this holy patronage, earnestly solicited, will turn out to the greater good and the spiritual benefit of the nation, for everyone is familiar with loving worship and famous whose the French as a whole, even the most humble, honor Saint Thérèse ».

Doctor of the Church

On several occasions, it has been proposed that Thérèse be declared a Doctor of the Church because of her doctrine of the "little way" of spiritual childhood. After several attempts in 1932, 1947, 1970 and 1989, it was finally proclaimed 33rd Doctor of the Church by Pope John Paul II on 19th October, 1997.

She is the youngest, and one of the four women proclaimed Doctors of the Church with Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint Catherine of Siena and Saint Hildegard of Bingen.

Apostleship of prayer

The Apostleship of Prayer was founded in 1844 by the Society of Jesus with the aim of enabling its members to become missionaries through prayer and the offering of their daily lives. Each month, a common prayer intention, generally for great international causes, is entrusted to them by the Pope.

Before entering the Carmel, Thérèse was admitted to the Apostleship of Prayer, the 15th October, 1885.

Le March 6, 2004, Saint Thérèse is proclaimed Secondary Patroness of the members of the Apostleship of Prayer, on the occasion of her 160rd anniversary (the main Patron being Saint Francis Xavier).

The Apostleship of Prayer became in 2016 the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network.

Co-Patron of WYD Sydney

In 2008, Saint Thérèse was declared patroness of World Youth Day in Sydney. Already eleven years earlier, during the WYD in Paris in August 1997, Jean-Paul II had established Thérèse as a model for young people before announcing the Doctorate.

Saint Thérèse honored by UNESCO

On December 4, 2021, UNESCO officially chose Saint Thérèse to be honored as a "woman of culture, education and peace" in 2022-2023 on the occasion of the 150rd anniversary of his birth.