She was a French girl born to a French family in Alarcon in Normandy.
Her mother died when she was four.
Her father, in some ways, ‘spoiled’ her. Probably understandable after the death of his wife.
She was precocious and sensitive. Her father and sisters babied her.
At the age of 14, on Christmas 1886, she had a conversion experience that transformed her life. From then on, the powerful energy and sensitive spirit were turned towards love, instead of keeping herself happy.
At the age of 15 she entered the Carmelite Convent at Lisieux to give her whole life to God (she was given special permission to enter at such an early age). Living the hidden life of a Carmelite, a life of prayer, she was gifted with great intimacy with God. She suffered from illness, dark nights of doubt and fear.
She remained faithful to God, trusting in God’s merciful love in all things.
She died of tuberculosis on September 30, 1897, at the age of 24.
Her last words were “My God, I love you”. She died with the simplicity of a child.
She loved flowers and saw herself as ‘little flower of Jesus’ who gave glory to God by just being her beautiful little self among all the other flowers in God’s garden. Hence, she is known as ‘the little flower’.
She suffered from depression and scruples.
She suffered from extreme physical suffering.
She was tempted with despair.
She was a very highly strung child.
She was miraculously cured of her hypersensitivity after becoming a nun. A belief in the unchangeable love of Christ helped her in this.
She had a sense of humour.
She fell asleep during prayer often, and when told off for doing this she said “I know that children are just as dear to their parents whether they are asleep or awake!”
She knew that it is God’s wish that though we fail, and may fail again, that we do not give up trying.
‘My mission is to make God loved’.
She promised that after she died she wanted to help all reach real holiness.
She reminds us that every day, no matter our struggle, all we need to do is simply turn to God and throw ourselves into his arms and ask for help, confident that God loves us as we are, understands our failings, and loves us as we are, and continue to journey towards who we will become.
Her spirituality is known as the ‘little flower’. The way of love. Do little things with great love.
She wanted to spend her heaven helping us on earth. Why not ask her?