Pope, at general audience, pays tribute to St. Thérèse of Lisieux
June 07, 2023
Continuing his series of Wednesday catecheses on the theme of “the passion for evangelization: the apostolic zeal of the believer,” Pope Francis devoted his June 7 general audience to St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus (1873-1897).
“In our continuing catechesis on apostolic zeal, we now turn to Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, the universal patroness of the missions; happily, today her relics are here in our midst,” Pope Francis said, in the words of the Vatican summary of his remarks. “At an early age, Therese discerned a vocation to enter the Carmel and to devote her life to prayer for the Church’s work of evangelization.”
The summary continued:
She adopted several foreign missionaries as a “spiritual sister,” writing them letters of encouragement and supporting them by her prayers and daily sacrifices. Saint Thérèse longed for all people to open their hearts to the saving love of Jesus. She interceded fervently for the conversion of sinners, even those most hardened. In her final illness, she promised to continue that intercession even after her death.
Saint Thérèse reminds us that charity and intercessory prayer, even more than projects and programs, are essential to the spread of the Gospel. Let us ask her to intercede for an outpouring of missionary zeal upon the Church in our day, so that the name of Jesus may everywhere be known and loved.
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