St Thérèse in her lifetime expressed a wish to 'preach the Gospel on all five continents simultaneously and even to the remotest isles'.
In welcoming you to this site, we are seeking to promote
the wish of St Thérèse to make God known and loved.
The St Thérèse National Day of Prayer at Knock Shrine in Ireland, has been an occasion of pilgrimage, for many years, marked with concelebrated Mass in the Basilica of Our Lady, Blessing of the Sick, Veneration of relics of St Thérèse and her parents Saints Louis and Zélie Martin, Blessing with the relics and the Blessing of roses.
The major relics of St Thérèse, which are normally kept in the Lisieux Carmel, were brought to Ireland in 2001 and again in 2009. They were venerated by many thousands throughout the country. In preparation for the first visit Fr Chris O’Donnell, O Carm wrote ‘The veneration of relics looks beyond what is visible and material to God’s love at work in the saint, to the inspiration of the saint and to God’s good pleasure in confirming the virtue of the saint by signs and cures’.
In August 2018 we again welcomed relics of St Thérèse together with relics of her parents Saints Louis and Zélie Martin. This visit took place on the occasion of the World Meeting of Families 2018, 21-26 August 2018 in Dublin. The relics of the three saints were in Dublin during the World Meeting and were brought, for veneration, to many dioceses before and after the World Meeting.
For fifty years the National Carmelite Pilgrimage to Lisieux has taken place at the end of September when it is timed to coincide with the celebrations in Lisieux for the Universal Feast Day of St Thérèse (1 October). The first director was Fr Carmel O’Shea, O Carm followed by Fr Eltin Griffin, O Carm and Fr Linus Ryan, O Carm. The core of the Pilgrimage is the daily liturgy in the Lisieux Carmel chapel with prayer, reflection on Scripture passages, homily and congregational singing as pilgrims look to immerse themselves in the Little Way of St Thérèse. Pilgrims also visit Alençon where St Thérèse's parents Saints Louis and Zélie Martin lived and where St Thérèse was born and the Visitation Monastery in Caen where St Thérèse's sister the Servant of God Sr Françoise-Thérèse (Léonie Martin) spent her religious life.
St Thérèse has become known to millions of people throughout the world through the providential publication of her autobiography Story of a Soul in which she articulated her Little Way of Spirituality. Down the years the popes have endorsed her message. She was canonised in 1925 by Pope Pius XI who proclaimed her Patroness of the Missions in 1927. Pope Pius XII, in 1944, named her Patroness of France. On the hundredth anniversary of her death in 1997 she was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope John Paul II.
The manner in which Thérèse bore her own awesome sufferings constitutes the pinnacle of her Little Way. She lived the final months of her short life, racked with pain and desolation of spirit, clinging to a faith she could no longer feel. And yet she never wavered, as on her death bed she said 'there will be a shower of roses’ and she promised to ‘spend her heaven doing good on earth’. Has there ever been a promise more dramatically and consistently fulfilled?!