Popes Speak

Saint Pius X
" The greatest saint of modern times."

Benedict XV
"It is our wish that the secret of the holiness of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus should not remain hidden from any of our sons". (1921)

Pius XI
"From the depths of her enclosed convent, she fascinates the world today with the magic of her example, an example of holiness which everyone can and must follow; for everyone must enter on the 'Little Way', a way of golden simplicity, which is childlike in name only. On the 'Way of Spiritual Infancy' .... 'Little Thérèse' has become the 'Great Saint Thérèse' (1925).

Angelo Roncalli - Later Pope John XXIII
"I shall never cease blessing and exalting the little and great saint who has always been, and always will be, the lucky star of my mission in France. It was at the altar in the chapel dedicated to her in Ankara, in the heart of Turkey, that I bade farewell to the Orient, where I had spent twenty years of apostolic ministry. Every day, I look at her marble statue in my private chapel in the nunciature; better still, I turn to her in prayer and confide to her all my problems and difficulties in the ministry of reconciliation and peace which is my mission in the service of the Holy Church and of France also."

Paul VI
"You know that I was baptized in 1897, on the day when Thérèse Martin, later Thérèse of the Child Jesus, passed away in France. On one of the secret notes she made before her death (cf. Last Conversations), Thérèse said, 'When I am dead, I shall visit the cradles of baptized infants'. On pilgrimage in Rome, she had encountered some mediocre priests; instead of criticizing them and retreating to the periphery, she resolved to place herself at the very heart of things, in love alone. I shall read you what she said about this in the 'Story of a Soul"'. Taking the book, the Pope read out the famous passage, "I understood that Love comprised all vocations, that Love was everything, that it embraced all times and places. I cried out, I have found my place in the Church. My vocation is love."
(Reported by Jean Guitton, who adds, "Paul VI did not read me the French text, but the Latin translation in the breviary.")

Albino Luciani - Later John Paul I
"Dear Little Thérèse I was 17 when I read your autobiography. It hit me like a thunderbolt. You had called it 'Spring Story of a Little White Flower'; but the willpower, courage and resolution which it revealed made it seem to me the story of a steel bar. From the moment you chose the path of total dedication to God, nothing could stop you; neither illness, nor external opposition, nor inner clouds and darkness."

John Paul II
"The holy patron of the missions comes from your region. From Lisieux, Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face has spread her missionary zeal throughout the world. Her spiritual teaching, which is of luminous simplicity, still touches the faithful in all walks of life. It is right that we should ask her to help Catholics in France to follow in her holy footsteps and to develop their solidarity with their brothers in Europe, Africa and other parts of the world, so that all can share in the gifts received from Christ, our Savior." (1992)

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