Nine Days with Thérèse of Lisieux Magnificat ®

Magnificat Nine Days with Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

Since she “entered into life,” Saint Thérèse has not stopped performing miracles. This is quite amazing. The little Carmelite with blue eyes and a charming smile, the daring fighter who placed her trust in the tireless goodness of God, seems to travel the whole world in order to make Christ loved as she loved him. She was ready to do anything for this: to enter Carmel at fifteen, to eat little, to sleep little, to suffer with a smile, to offer her exhaustion for a missionary’s intentions, to endure the dark night of the soul, to sit at table with sinners so that there would be among them a soul that loves Jesus, or even to endure purgatory until the end of the world if that could deliver the captives. She was ready for anything, yes, but above

all, she was never discouraged by her weaknesses; on the contrary, she drew her strength from them: to love her littleness because it invincibly attracts Divine Mercy. For nine days, therefore, we will pray to Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, asking her to obtain for us the graces that she herself received from God: to know that we are infinitely loved, to be consoled, to be united to Jesus as she was, to be freed from what hinders us, to be strengthened, to trust in his providence which guides us in everything, to love his mercy in our weaknesses, to persevere in the night, and finally to love as Jesus loves us. The mercies of God are not exhausted, nor are the miracles of Saint Thérèse! Let us open our hearts wider and deeper: God wants to bless us, to give us his love, his graces, and even eternal happiness… for free! Bénédicte Delelis

DAY ONE The Grace of Knowing That We Are Infinitely Loved In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Hymn Lord, you chose me from my earliest childhood, And I can call myself the work of your love… O my God! in my gratitude I would like Oh! I would like to be able to pay you in return!… Jesus my Beloved, what is this privilege? What have I, poor little nothing, done for you? And I see myself placed in the royal procession Of the virgins in your court, lovable and Divine King! 5

The word of the Lord came to me thus: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you. “Ah, Lord God!” I said, “I know not how to speak; I am too young.” Jeremiah 1:4-6 Meditate with Saint Thérèse Really I am far from being a saint, that alone is proof of that; I should, instead of rejoicing in my dryness, attribute it to my lack of fervor and fidelity; I should be sorry to sleep (for seven years) duringmy prayers andmy thanksgivings; well, I’m not sorry.... I think little children please their parents as much when they’re sleeping as when they’re awake; I think that to do operations, doctors put their patients to sleep. Finally I think that the Lord sees our fragility, he remembers that we are only dust.... On the morning of September 8, I felt inundated with a river of peace and it was in this peace “surpassing all understanding” that I pronounced my Holy Vows.... My unionwith Jesuswasmade, not in themidst of thunderbolts and lightning, that is to say extraordinary graces, but within a light zephyr, similar to that which our father Saint Elijah heard on themountain.... What graces did I not ask for this day!... I really felt like the queen, so I took advantage of my title to free the captives…. Finally I wanted to free all the souls from purgatory and convert sinners. 6

A beloved child! Saint Thérèse knows she is loved by God. Since childhood, she has divined the height, the depth, the grandeur of divine love by looking at the tireless tenderness of her father, Louis Martin. Saint Thérèse knows for certain that she is loved by God whether she is sleeping or awake, whether she gets up after a fall or by grace is preserved from falling. Sure of God’s goodness, SaintThérèse reads all the events of her life as gifts of divine love.The great joys and the difficult trials: she receives themalike from the hands of theHeavenly Father, certain that he loves her, that he takes care of her, that he takes care of everything. God is Father, he loves us as we freely and unconditionally cherish little children: this is the certainty that allows Saint Thérèse to go through life. Louis affectionately called her his little queen. And for SaintThérèse this is quite natural: She is the beloved queen of her Heavenly Father, and she dares to ask for everything, to hope for everything! She is not a saint, she asserts, no, no… she is merely a child who knows she is loved! Psalm 131 O Lord, my heart is not proud nor haughty my eyes. I have not gone after things too great nor marvels beyond me. Truly I have set my soul in silence and peace. As a child has rest in its mother’s arms, even so my soul. O Israel, hope in the Lord both now and for ever. 7

Intercessions Lord, we ask you today, through the intercession of Saint Thérèse, for the grace to discover the love of your fatherly heart:  Father, I surrender myself to you. Even before I was formed in my mother’s womb, you knewme, you called me by my name:  Grant me to discover that you love me, even in my sin, weakness, sickness. Whether I am asleep or awake, whether I get up or sit down, whether I climb the mountains or descend into the darkness, you are there:  Sure of your infinite love for me, I entrust you with the particular request of my heart for this novena, and for the Church and the whole world, especially those who are unaware of your immense love:  Personal Intentions N Prayer to Saint Thérèse of Lisieux (page 58) With SaintThérèse, we pray: Hail Mary… Our Father… Lord God, who showed Saint Thérèse your immense love for her and for all your children, grant us the grace to perceive your infinite and tireless love, from the very dawn of our existence until today. Through the prayers of Saint Thérèse, may the light of your love pierce our darkness, to soothe and heal our souls. 8

The Science of Divine Love, which the Father of mercies pours out through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit, is a gift granted to the little and the humble so that they may know and proclaim the secrets of the kingdom, hidden from the learned and the wise; for this reason Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit, praising the Father who graciously willed it so (cf. Lk 10:21-22; Mt 11:25-26). Mother Church also rejoices in noting that throughout history the Lord has continued to reveal himself to the little and the humble, enabling his chosen ones, through the Spirit who searches everything, even the depths of God (1 Cor 2:10), to speak of the gifts bestowed on us byGod (1 Cor 2:12). Shining brightly among the little ones to whom the secrets of the kingdomwere revealed in a most special way is Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, a professed nun of the Order of Discalced Carmelites, the hundredth anniversary of whose entry into the heavenly homeland occurs this year . During her life Saint Thérèse discovered “new lights, hidden andmysterious meanings,” and received from the divine Teacher that “science of love.”... Saint John Paul II Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Divini amoris scientia, October 19, 1979 TO KNOW THE LOVE OF GOD 9

APPENDIX Prayer to Saint Thérèse from the Shrine of Lisieux God our Father, we invoke Saint Thérèse because of her love for you. Her trust in you made her hope “that you would do her will in heaven since she had always done yours on earth.” I beg you to grant the prayer that I address to you in faith, through her intercession. Lord Jesus, only Son of God and our Savior, remember that Saint Thérèse consumed her life here below for the salvation of souls and wanted to “spend her heaven doing good on earth.” I entrust myself to you, hoping to obtain the graces that I implore through her intercession. Holy Spirit, source of all grace and all love, who guided Saint Thérèse here on earth, inspire and hear my prayer so that I may be granted the favor that I entrust to her intercession. 58

Prayer of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face O my God! I offer You all my actions this day for the intentions and for the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I desire to sanctify every beat of my heart, my every thought, my simplest works, by uniting them to His infinite merits; and I wish to make reparation for my sins by casting them into the furnace of His merciful love. O my God! I ask You for myself and for those whom I hold dear the grace to fulfill perfectly Your holy will, to accept for love of You the joys and sorrows of this passing life, so that we may one day be united together in heaven for all eternity. Amen. 59

Chronology January2, 1873: birthofMarie-FrançoiseThérèseMartin, inAlençon January 4, 1873: baptism in Notre Dame Church; godmother: her older sister Marie August 28, 1877: death of Zélie Martin; Pauline chosen as the “second mama” November 15, 1877: move to Lisieux, to Les Buissonnets October 2, 1882: Pauline enters the Carmel and takes the name Sister Agnes of Jesus. October 1882: Thérèse dreams of taking the name “of the Child Jesus.” May 13, 1883: Pentecost: the smile of the Virgin cures Thérèse. May 8, 1884: First Communion at the Abbey May 14, 1884: Confirmation October 15, 1886: Marie enters the Carmel with the name Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart. Late October 1886: Thérèse is freed from her scruples by the intercession of her “little brothers and sisters in heaven.” December 25, 1886: the grace of Christmas; Thérèse regains the spiritual strength that she had lost at age 4. March 19-20, 1887: Pranzini murders two women and a little girl in Paris. July 13, 1887: Pranzini is sentenced to death; Thérèse prays and offers sacrifices for his conversion. October 25, 1887: Thérèse learns that the superior of the Carmel, CanonDelatroëtte, is opposed to her entrance at such a young age. November 20, 1887: audiencewithLeoXIII; the pope leaves to the superiors the decision aboutThérèse’s entrance into the Carmel. April 9, 1888, Annunciation: Thérèse enters the Carmel. June 26, 1888: fire at the house next door to Les Buissonnets 60

January 10, 1889: clothing ceremony in the presence of Louis; Thérèse adds “of the Holy Face” to her name in religion. FromJanuary 10, 1889, toSeptember 24, 1890: Thérèse’s novitiate February 12, 1889: Louis is hospitalized at the Bon-Sauveur in Caen, where he will stay for three years. September 8, 1890: Thérèse makes her profession. September 24, 1890: Thérèse takes the black veil. October 7-15, 1891: retreat preached by Father Alexis Prou, who confirms Thérèse in the Little Way and launches her “in full sail” May 12, 1892: Louis Martin’s last visit to the Carmel. His last words: “In heaven.” June 24, 1893: Léonie returns to the Visitation Convent in Caen. May 8, 1894: major celebrations in Lisieux in honor of Joan of Arc; Thérèse writes a hymn to promote her canonization. July 1, 1894: a physician is consulted because of Thérèse’s chest pains and hoarseness. July 29, 1894: death of Louis Martin September 14, 1894: Céline enters the Carmel. December 1894: Mother Agnes asks Thérèse to write down her childhood memories. February 26, 1895: Thérèse writes the poem “Living on Love.” June 9, 1895: self-offering to Merciful Love April 3, 1896: first pulmonary hemorrhage in the night fromHoly Thursday to Good Friday. April 5, 1896, Easter: enters into the “thick darkness,” the night of faith June 13, 1897: Thérèse is much better after the communitymakes a novena to Our Lady of Victory. July 6, 1897: Pulmonary hemorrhages resume. July 30, 1897: Extreme Unction September 29, 1897: agony, confession 61

September 30, 1897: Thérèse dies around 7:20 pm in the presence of the assembled community. March 7, 1898: Monseigneur Hugonin, Bishop of Bayeux, gives permission to publish The Story of a Soul. 1899–1901: First graces and healings obtained through the intercession of Thérèse. May 26, 1908: A little blind girl, four years old, Reine Fauquet, is cured at the tomb of Thérèse. April 29, 1923: Beatification of Thérèse by Pius XI May 17, 1925: Canonization of Thérèse by Pius XI December 14, 1927: Thérèse is proclaimed patron of themissions together with Saint Francis Xavier. May 3, 1944: Thérèse is proclaimed secondary patron of France by Pius XII. October 19, 1997: Thérèse is proclaimed Doctor of the Church by John Paul II. Hymns and Meditations The hymns are taken from poems by Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. Day 1: PN 53 (1); Day 2: PN 54 (1 and 25); Day 3: PN 17 (3 and 7); Day 4: PN 17 (6); Day 5: PN 15 (6, 7 and 9); Day 6: PN 20 (3); Day 7: PN 45 (4 and 7); Day 8: PN 45 (1 and 3); Day 9: PN 17 (5 and 8). The meditations are taken from the writings of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. Day 1: Manuscript A, 75v-76r-76v; Day 2: Manuscript A, 30r; Day 3: Manuscript A, 35r-35v; Day 4: Manuscript A, 44r; Day 5: Manuscript A, 44v-45r; Day 6: Letter to Sister Agnes of Jesus, November 20, 1887, LT 36; Day 7: Manuscript C, 36v-37; Day 8: Manuscript C, 5v-6r; Day 9: Manuscript C, 12r-12v. ©Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites Friars, Inc., ICS Publications. Used with permission. www.icspublications.org Acknowledgments Most Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition ©2010, 1991, 1986, 1970Confraternity of ChristianDoctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of theNewAmerican Biblemay be reproduced in any formwithout permission in writing from the copyright owner. 62

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Nine Days with Thérèse of Lisieux “After my death, I will let fall a shower of roses. I will spend my heaven doing good upon earth.” Walk with the Little Flower in her Way of Love. To enter more deeply into Saint Thérèse of Lisieux’s experience of God as a loving Father, pray with this booklet frequently, calling upon her to shower you with roses in the form of the graces she herself received here on earth. Each of the nine days focuses on a particular grace and gives insight into the childlike simplicity for which she is universally loved. Each day of prayer includes: • An excerpt from a poem by Saint Thérèse • A Scripture reading • A meditation from Saint Thérèse’s writings • An original meditation by Bénédicte Delelis • A selection from a psalm • Intercessions • Prayer • Passage from a papal writing US $5.99