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Page last updated at 09:51 GMT, Tuesday, 15 September 2009 10:51 UK
St. Thérèse comes to the Diocese
BBC Leicester presenter John Florance
By John Florance
Presenter, BBC Leicester

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux in the Carmelite Brown Scapular, 1895

There is mounting excitement amongst the Catholic community in Leicestershire as the bones of Saint Thérèse are to visit the Diocese.

The relics of the 24-year-old French nun will be based at Nottingham Cathedral on 5 and 6 October 2009.

The remains, in an ornate coffin, are expected to attract huge numbers of devotees during the national tour.

St. Thérèse de Liseux is known today because of her spiritual autobiography "The Story of My Soul".

Thérèse herself is reported as saying: "I would like to travel over the whole earth" and her bones have already visited many countries.

But this is the first time that they have been to Britain.

She seems to have something to say to everyone... Whether we are a believer or not.
Magister Keith Barltrop, Organiser

Organiser of the tour, Magister Keith Barltrop, believes she was a woman with wise words.

"She seems to have something to say to everyone, whether we are Catholic, belong to another Christian church or are of another faith; whether we are a believer or not, or are searching for a meaning to life, or for our place in God's plan."

Who was this remarkable woman?

Thérèse de Lisieux (1873-1897), a Carmelite nun, was canonised in 1925 and is recognised as a Doctor of the Church - one of only three women to receive that honour.

Here fame rests on her very popular spiritual autobiography "The Story of My Soul".

This is now seen as a spiritual classic as profound as it is simply written.

A depiction of the Holy Face of Jesus as Veronica's veil, by Claude Mellan c. 1649.
St. Thérèse wore an image of the Holy Face on her heart

In the book she sees God not as remote or terrible but rather as a brother or intimate friend.

For this reason she is beloved of many ordinary Catholics. They can easily relate to Thérèse and the God she describes.

She has been the occasion of many miracles.

Indeed, according to some biographies of Edith Piaf in 1922, at the time an unknown seven-year-old girl, was cured from blindness after pilgrimage to the grave of Thérèse, at the time not yet formally canonised.

"My mission - to make God loved - will begin after my death," she said. "I will spend my heaven doing good on earth. I will let fall a shower of roses."

The relics can be seen at these nearby places:

19 - 21 September 2009
Birmingham Cathedral , St. Chad's Queensway, B4 6EU
Tel: 0121 2362251

21 - 22 September 2009
Sacred Heart and St. Teresa, 67 Coventry Road, Coleshill, Birmingham, B46 3EA
Tel: 01675 463939

5 - 6 October 2009
Nottingham Cathedral , Derby Road, NG1 5AE.
Tel: 0115 9539839

Presenter profile: John Florance
14 Sep 09 |  TV & Radio
St Thérèse relics in York
11 Sep 09 |  Religion & Ethics
Humanism, Buddhism and St Thérèse
17 Aug 09 |  Religion & Ethics


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