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St. Therese of the Child Jesus (October 1)

Born on Jan. 2, 1873 at Alencon, France and was the youngest of nine children. Her father was a successful watchmaker and her mother a seamstress - who died when Therese was four years old. This affected the child and caused her to suffer deep sadness and a sense of loss that affected her for the next eight years. After the mother's death in 1877, Therese' dad moved the family to Lisieux where Therese was cared for by two older sisters and an aunt. On Christmas Day, 1886 Therese experienced a profound conversion. She developed a great love for the missionary life of the Church, her desire for prayer increased, and she began to make plans for entering the Carmelite convent in Lisieux, where her two older sisters were members. By special dispensation she entered the Carmelites and was professed on Sept. 8, 1890. For the next seven years she lived a life of prayer, fulfilling her routine duties with extraordinary faithfulness and love. She guided the novices of her community for the last four years of her life until she died on Sept. 30, 1897 from a painful condition of tuberculosis.