We live in a celebrity obsessed age, and the effects that obsession is having with our children is increasingly clear to see. More and more youngsters simply want to be famous for being famous, and the powerful forces of advertising and marketing puff up their products to make them attractive to the young and vulnerable. The saint we celebrate today is renowned throughout the Catholic world. Her statue and picture are found in thousands of churches and millions of homes. And yet in her lifetime she knew none of this. She simply did her duty and said her prayers, and died in obscurity in the northern French town of Lisieux in 1897 at the age of 24.
Therese’s fame comes from her little book, The Journal of a Soul which was published after her death. She speaks there with great candour about her difficulties and doubts but also about her overwhelming belief in the power of love. It was this that won for her a devoted following. Therese insisted that God could be loved in the little things, the ordinary, everyday, humdrum things of life. Her own brief life was a celebration of that conviction, and millions have tried to imitate her.
We should ask Therese for her prayers so that we come to realise that what really matters in life is not fame and fortune but love of God and neighbour.