On this day: Canonization of The?re?se

by Gerelyn Hollingsworth

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On this day in 1925, in St. Peter's Basilica, "in the presence of thirty-three cardinals and two hundred and fifty bishops", Pope Pius XI "inscribed little The?re?se Martin in the catalogue of saints". He had beatified her two years earlier. She was the "star of his pontificate".

Pope Pius X, in a private audience in 1907, just ten years after The?re?se's death, "did not hesitate to anticipate the future by calling her 'the greatest saint of modern times'".

Pope Benedict XV, in 1917, "exempted the cause from the fifty years delay imposed by law for canonisation. On 14 August 1921 he promulgated the decree on the heroic quality of the virtues of Sister The?re?se of the Child Jesus".

--The Story of a Life: St. The?re?se of Lisieux, by Guy Gaucher, Harper & Row, 1987. Search term: process. Page 210.

To see the Bull of Canonization, click here. Page 322.

That book, Therese and Lisieux, by Pierre Descouvemont (text) and Helmuth Nils Loose (photographs), Eerdmans, 1996, is beautiful. See, e.g., the pictures of The?re?se's cousin, Marie Guerin, as a postulant going through her daily routine, pages 203-211. See what Lisieux looked like before the bombing, page 28. And see Mother Genevieve's heart, page 184.

Another important book, one that will inform even those most familiar with The?re?se, is The?re?se of Lisieux: God's Gentle Warrior, by Thomas R. Nevin, Oxford University Press, 2006. To read about the grotesque treatments The?re?se was tortured with in the last months of her life, see page 267. See, also, the extensive Notes and the Annotated Bibliography. Click here for the Amazon page.

The Story of the Canonization of The?re?se of Lisieux with the Text of the Principal Documents in the Process, London: Burns, Oates, & Washbourne, 1934, is not available to read online or to buy, but is held by these libraries.

Click here for a video of the March, 1923, exhumation of the remains, the third and last. Instead of being replaced in the cemetery as they had been following the 1910 and 1917 exhumations, the relics of The?re?se were taken to the Carmel to be enshrined.

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