At the age of eleven, on May 8, 1884, she received her first "kiss of love", a sense of being "united" with Jesus, of His giving Himself to her, as she gave herself to Him. Her eucharistic hunger made her long for daily communion. Confirmation, "the sacrament of love", which she received on June 14, 1884 filled her with ecstasy. Holidays in Trouville and Saint-Ouen-le-Pin were followed however, by a retreat which triggered a crisis of scruples, lasting seventeen months. Her sister Marie, helped her to overcome it. But Marie in her turn entered the Lisieux Carmel on October 15, 1886.

This was too much for the adolescent Thérèse, who had now lost a third mother. She was nearly fourteen and already strikingly good-looking, 1.62 meters tall with magnificent eyes and long hair. She attracted notice on the beach in Trouville where people nicknamed her "the tall English girl". But she was tormented by an inner anguish which found relief, only when in November 1886, she appealed to her four brothers and sisters in heaven to intercede for her. Even then, she remained hypersensitive, weakwilled, "crying at having cried". How could she possibly enter the Carmel, something she had dreamed of since the age of nine as a way of living with Jesus, in this pitiful state?


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