The Little Flower of Jesus.
(Patron of Missions)

Who has not heard of the Little Flower? The entire Catholic world knows of, and fondly gives, this sweet title to Sister Theresa of the Child Jesus. Little Theresa, another gentle name for this most amiable Saint, is the most prominent and popular of recent Saints. Her beatification by the Church in 1921, and canonization in 1923, following so soon after her death in 1897, give a brilliant testimony of her extraordinary holiness. It would seem that God hastened to proclaim her sanctity, performing many miracles in her favor, in order that mankind might as soon as possible, through her intercession, obtain heavenly graces and favors.

St. Theresa was born at Alencon in France, January 2, 1873. At the early age of 15, she began the life of a cloistered nun by entering the Carmelite Convent in Lisieux. In the convent, she led a life of absolute trust and surrender to God, advancing in saintliness by her simple and childlike attachment to Jesus. To love the Infant Jesus--to be His friend--to think of Him and do everything in His honor; to tear herself away from this world, and fly to heaven--to be eternally united with Him; to love her neighbors doing good to others with a childlike devotion--these were the outstanding characteristics of the Little Flower of Jesus. She died, esteemed as a Saint, on Sept. 30, 1897.

Our dear Little Saint took the world by storm and drew unto herself, clients from all walks of life. This Little Flower receives petitions in all forms and constantly pours down from heaven her promised "shower of roses." Saint Theresa, who spent her whole life without leaving her own corner of France, is Patroness of the Missions. Acquainted early with the work of the missions, she made them the object of her prayers and sacrifices. Manifestly are being fulfilled, her prophetic words of distinct assurance uttered: "I will spend my heaven doing good upon earth. I shall let fall from heaven a shower of roses. My work begins after death."

Litany of the Little Flower (for Private Devotion)

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Pray for us*
St. Theresa, servant of God,*
St. Theresa, victim of the merciful love of God,*
St. Theresa, spouse of Jesus,*
St. Theresa, gift of Heaven,*
St. Theresa, remarkable in childhood,*
St. Theresa, an example of obedience,*
St. Theresa, resigned to the Divine Will of God,*
St. Theresa, lover of peace,*
St. Theresa, lover of patience,*
St. Theresa, lover of gentleness,*
St. Theresa, heroic in sacrifices,*
St. Theresa, generous in forgiving,*
St. Theresa, benefactress of the needy,*
St. Theresa, lover of Jesus,*
St. Theresa, devoted to the Holy Face,*
St. Theresa, consumed with pure love of God,*
St. Theresa, advocate of extreme cases,*
St. Theresa, persevering in prayer,*
St. Theresa, a powerful advocate with God,*
St. Theresa, showering roses,*
St. Theresa, doing good upon earth,*
St. Theresa, answering all prayers,*
St. Theresa, lover of holy chastity,*
St. Theresa, lover of voluntary poverty,*
St. Theresa, lover of obedience,*
St. Theresa, burning with zeal for God's glory,*
St. Theresa, child of benediction,*
St. Theresa, so remarkable for trust in God,*

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us, O Lord.

V. St. Theresa, whose Heaven is to do good on this earth,
R. Vouchsafe to send an abundant shower of God's graces upon us.

Let us Pray:

O Lord Who didst say: "Unless you become as little children you shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven", grant us, we beseech Thee, thus to walk in humility and simplicity of heart in the footsteps of Thy Virgin, Blessed Theresa, that we may obtain eternal reward. Who livest and reignest with God the Father in unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.

A Novena to St. Theresa

Eternal Father, Thou Who in heaven dost crown the merits of those who in this life serve Thee faithfully, for the sake of the pure love Thy little Saint Theresa had for Thee, which filled her with such confidence, that Thou wouldst grant her whatever she would desire; I beg of Thee to incline Thine ears to the petitions which she offers up to Thee on my behalf, and grant me the grace which I ask through her.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory.

Eternal Son of God, Thou Who hast promised to reward the least service rendered to Thee in the person of our neighbor, cast a glance of gentle love on Thy little spouse, Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus, who with such zeal had ever at heart the salvation of souls, and for the sake of all she has done and suffered, lend a willing ear to her wish of "spending her time in Heaven doing good on earth", and grant me the grace I plead for from Thee.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory.

Eternal Spirit of God, Who didst make perfect with so many graces the beloved soul of Saint Theresa, I beseech Thee for the sake of the fidelity she showed in ever corresponding with Thy graces, to incline Thine ear to the prayers she offers to Thee on my behalf, and having before Thee her promise of "letting fall from Heaven a shower of roses," mercifully grant me the grace of which I stand in need.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory.

Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus, who during thy short life on earth didst become a mirror of angelic purity, of love strong as death, and of whole-hearted abandonment to God, now that thou rejoicest in the reward of thy virtues, cast a glance of pity on me as I leave all things in thy hands. Make my troubles your own; speak a word for me to our Lady Immaculate, whose flower of special love thou wert, to that Queen of Heaven, "who smiled on thee at the dawn of life." Beg her as Queen of the Heart of Jesus to obtain for me by her powerful intercession the grace I yearn for so ardently at this time, and that she join with it a blessing that may strengthen me during life, defend me at the hour of death, and lead me straight on to a happy eternity.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory.

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!

V. Pray for us, holy Mother of God.

R. That we become worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray:

Almighty, Everlasting God, Who by the cooperation of the Holy Ghost, didst prepare the body and soul of the glorious Virgin Mother, Mary, to become the fit habitation of Thy Son; grant that we who now rejoice in her commemoration may, by her gracious intercession, be delivered from all the evils that threaten us, and from everlasting death. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.


A Prayer of St. Teresa

In Thy love an exile upon earth, Jesus divine,
Thou'rt immolated, for me;
My well-Beloved, receive my life's poor worth,
I wish to suffer and to die for Thee.

O Lord, Thou dost Thyself reveal,
That mortals here no more can do
Than die, if they their love would seal
My love's supreme appeal,
Tis Thou, O Jesus!

Behold 'tis late, e'en now the day doth wane,
Celestial Pilgrim, wilt Thou be my guide?
Tis by Thy cross the steepening path I gain,
With Thee, O Lord, I climb the mountain side.

Thy voice finds echo in my soul,
Lord, Thy resemblance now impart;
'Tis suffering my longed for goal
Thy words-aflame, uproll, Burning my heart.

Act of Oblation to Jesus. (St. Teresa.)

In order that my life may be one act of perfect love, I offer myself as a victim of a holocaust to Thy merciful Love. I implore Thee to consume me unceasingly, and to allow the floods of infinite tenderness gathered up in Thee to overflow into my soul, so that I may become a very martyr of Thy Love, O my God!

May this martyrdom, after having prepared me to appear before Thee, free me from this life at last, and may my soul take its flight without delay into the eternal embrace of Thy merciful Love.

I desire with every beat of my heart to renew this oblation an infinite number of times, till the shadows of death be dispersed; then everlastingly I shall tell it to Thee face to face. Amen.

(Indulgence: 300 days each time. Plen Indul. once a month. PiusXI, 1923.)

A Prayer for Perseverance (St. Teresa.)

Jesus, my Divine Spouse, "grant that my baptismal robe be never sullied. Take me rather than suffer me here below to stain my soul with the slightest willful fault. May I never seek, nor ever find but Thee alone! May all creatures be as nothing to me, and I nothing to them! May no earthly thing disturb my peace. Amen.

O Jesus, I only beg of Thee peace for my soul--for Thy peace, unending peace. Let me suffer even martyrdom for Thee, O Jesus. Give me martyrdom either of the body or of the soul, or even both at once!

Grant that I may fulfill my duties in all their perfection, though none concern themselves about me. Let me be trodden under foot, forgotten as a little grain of sand. I abandon myself to Thee, my Beloved, that Thou mayest ever perfectly accomplish Thy holy Will in me. Amen.

Prayer from the Roman Breviary

O Lord, Who hast said, unless you become as little children you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may so follow the holy virgin Teresa, in humility and simplicity of heart, that we may attain to an everlasting reward. Who livest etc.

Little Novena in Honor of St. Teresa, the Little Flower of Jesus

How should we go about it to make this Novena? It is not difficult, if we only follow the Little Flower's own method of prayer. She tells us how she proceeded in the following words: "I do as little children do, that can't read. I tell the dear God in simple and humble words what I have to say, and He understands me." Then she would recite the prayers which she loved the best, the Our Father and the Hail Mary. According to her example we do not suggest any long prayers, and advise the following method:

1. Three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys and one Glory be to the Father, followed by this short prayer:--"O little St. Therese, joy of the Heart of Jesus, and beloved daughter of our Lady of Mt. Carmel, pray for us, and obtain for us from God the graces, which we expect from His Divine Goodness . . . "

"Let your shower of roses fall upon us through your intercession and thus fulfill your own wish--to spend your heaven by doing good on earth. Amen."

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.

Dear Lady of Mt. Carmel, pray for us.

For more prayers and devotions to St. Theresa please click on the following link:

Additional Prayers to St. Theresa of the Little Flower