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I really didn't know much about St Thérèse of Lisieux, other than that her relics have been the centre of much religious enthusiasm in the various countries to which they have been brought. After reading this book, I don't feel that I know much more than I did. She was one of eight children, the youngest of four surviving sisters, who all became nuns in the same convent (Thérèse having personally petitioned the Pope to be allowed to join at the age of fifteen); she basically dedicated herself to a consuming, borderline erotic vision of union with Christ, and expired of tuberculosis at the age of 24 in 1897. Despite having grown up in the Irish Catholic tradition myself, I found a lot of the story pretty repellent, and if I'd been Thérèse's spiritual director I fear I would have instructed her rather firmly to get a grip. Having said that, I think her intense devotion to her personal conception of Christ is an extrapolation of the extreme loyalties I sometimes see expressed in media fandom communities. Perhaps I should get hold of her Story of a Soul but I am not really inclined to after reading this.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 7th, 2010 02:39 pm (UTC)
Her relics are currently just up from the road from me in a church in Kensington, oddly.
Jun. 7th, 2010 03:45 pm (UTC)
My Mum's housemate from her year in France is from Lisieux, and I share a birthday with her so I know quite a bit. We went to her basilica, which is worth a visit for the stained glass, but my Mum agrees with your point.

Story of A Soul might be worth a read, given it's what she was canonised for (sort of). She's a saint of learning like the other St. Theresa.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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