Fr Joe Bermingham, a Carmelite priest based in Avila, Dublin preached on the first day of the Novena in Dromantine. We list here the points he highlighted in his homily at the Mass.
St Thérese of the Child Jesus of the Holy Face 1873 – 1897
Died at 24 years old. 9 years in Carmel of Lisieux virtually unknown. Only about 50 at funeral.
Only 28 years later half a million attended Canonization.
“Greatest Saint of modern times” – Leo XIII
Patroness of Missions. Patroness of France, of Youth. Doctor of the Church 1997.
Born to Louis and Zellie Martin recently Beatified (2008). Religious Family – great influence.
Mother died when she was four and a half. This was traumatic for her. Therese had a mysterious illness – miracle cure. Difficult school years – nervous/sensitive. Complete conversion – after midnight Mass Christmas. Entered Carmelites aged 15 years. Her father died in 1894.
In 1895 began writing story of a soul – published after death.
Pius XIII – “St Thérese rediscovered the heart of the Gospel”. God is a God of merciful love.
Spiritual Childhood – not childishness.Thérese discovered and experienced the true nature of God in prayer and experience. The God revealed by Christ – in the parables, in ministry to poor, sick and sinners above all in suffering, death and resurrection.
Little way of spiritual childhood – approach the God of mercy and love – like a little child with full trust and confidence.
Her way – offering her littleness, her prayer, her suffering to loving Father.
Her purpose – to make God known and loved the world over, till the end of time.To be love in the heart of the Church.
Desired to be a Priest, missionary, apostle to spread the good news of who God is – mercy and love.
To pray the Lord of the harvest to send missionaries into the harvest field.
Patroness of Missions – who promised to continue her work from her place in Heaven.