Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, also known as the Little Flower of Jesus, was one of nine children born in France to a mother, who wished to be a saint, and father, who wished to be a monk. In fact, they had remained celibate until a priest had told them that God did not intend marriage to work as such. At the young age of 4-1/2 years old, Thérèse's mother died of breast cancer, leaving her older sister, Pauline, to care for her. Five years later, Pauline joined a convent. It was not long after Pauline had left that Thérèse became ill. It was during this time that she began to pray to the Virgin Mary. She saw Mary smile at her and was cured not long after.
She tried to enter convent life at a younger age than was permitted. When told that she could not, she went to the Bishop to try to get into the convent. When the Bishop told her that she could not, she eventually tried to talk to the Pope to be able to get into the convent. Though the Pope did not help her, the Vicar General was impressed with her courage and soon she was admitted to the convent.
As a Carmelite nun great deeds were forbidden from her. Despite this, she wished to perform great deeds to show her love. So, she decided, "to spread flowers," and these flowers would be every little sacrifice and the doing of the least actions for love. Such as the time that she was blamed for the breaking of a vase that she had not broke. Instead of arguing that she had not broken it, she begged for forgiveness. It was these little sacrifices that went unnoticed or unknown to others. Then came an ultimate sacrifice, in which to quell suspicion and possible upheaval at the convent, she agreed to remain a novice. Meaning that she would never become a fully professed nun.
At the young age of 24, she died, having suffered for nearly a year prior. After, a collection of her writings were sent around to other convents. It was Thérèse's way of relying on small daily sacrifices, rather than great deeds, that appealed to the thousands of Catholics, who were trying to find holiness in their ordinary lives. Despite never being a fully professed nun, never founding a religious order, never performing a great work, never going on a mission; she was canonized 28 years after her death due to extreme public demand.
Saint Thérèse is a patron saint of missions. Not that she ever went on a mission, but because of her special love of missions. As well as the prayers and letters she gave in support of them.
On the front of the medal, surrounding Saint Teresa, it reads, in Latin:
SANCTA TERESIA A JESU INFANTE
(Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus)
On the back is the traditional prayer, in French:
JE VEUX PASSER MON CIEL À FAIRE DU BIEN SUR LA TERRE
(I shall spend my heaven doing good upon earth)
This wonderful medal is made of antiqued bronze metal that has had a lovely green patina added to it.
The medal measures about 1 inch high including the hanging loop by 3/4 inch wide. We're showing you two medals so that you might see both sides.