I am not a saint,” said Thérèse of Lisieux on her deathbed. “I am a very small soul whom the good Lord has filled with graces.” That is why, since her death in the Carmel on September 30, 1897, the one who was at once affectionately called the little Thérèse has never ceased to inspire, to console, to protect sinners, the devout, the powerful, and the poor. Thérèse is patroness of France like Joan of Arc, patroness of the missions like Francis Xavier, Doctor of the Church like Thomas Aquinas. And yet, she knew neither Greek nor Hebrew, spent her life within four walls, and liberated neither Orleans nor Reims. Thérèse had a tenderness and sensitivity that almost broke her, a detachment from herself and an endurance of suffering that made her a soldier. When we look at her life, we discover with amazement that all her desires were fulfilled beyond her expectations, and we begin to dream: what if God did the same for us? That is why this book gathers some of her greatest texts: so that after her, with her, we may walk the path of radical humility that has only to throw itself into the arms of God and rely on him alone, hoping for everything from him, with a crazy and loving audacity. Preface “I AM NOT A SAINT” Bénédicte Delelis “ 9