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Saint Therese of Lisieux: Called to Priesthood

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Sophie
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RE: Saint Therese of Lisieux: Called to Priesthood 2008/02/25 13:27:02 (permalink)
Dear friend,

Yes!  You've captured the essence!
I am happy to oblige with your request!  Here following is Dr. Wijngaards article.

~s~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

St. Thérèse and the Question of the Ordination of Women
by John Wijngaards
Mount Carmel 45 (1997) no 3, pp. 18-25.
 
On October 19, 1997, St. Thérèse of Lisieux was officially declared a Doctor of the Church. Although the Roman authorities may not have realised this, their recognition of Thérèse’s orthodox faith and soundness of teaching has consequences for the ordination of women. For St. Thérèse had a profound longing to be a priest and so, implicitly, gave testimony to her deep ‘Catholic sense’ that women can and should be ordained.
 


The Congregation for Doctrine has for the moment pronounced its verdict against the ordination of women to the priesthood. The three principal theological reasons it has given for this decision are: Christ only chose men to be his Apostles. Because Christ was a man, a masculine priest represents him better. The tradition of the Church in past ages has always been to ordain only men.
 
Most theologians would not agree that these are valid reasons. But where theologians, for the moment, ponder how to respond best to Rome’s public stance, many committed Catholic women remain disturbed and deeply dissatisfied. To put it mildly, they feel let down by the Church. They feel betrayed both in their Catholic faith and in their womanhood.
 
Now, this is only a feeling, one might object. Do such feelings matter in the Church? The answer is: yes, they do. Such feelings have to be taken very seriously if they reveal a deep, spontaneous Catholic response to a question. Feelings of this nature are related to the so-called sensus fidelium, the “spontaneous awareness” of the faithful which is one important touchstone of Catholic doctrine.
 
A friend of mine, who is not only a regular Churchgoer but an untiring worker in her parish, her local school and in a number of lay movements, puts her objection in this way: “I know that Jesus loves me and values me as a woman as much as he loves and values any man. He would not exclude me from the priesthood simply because I am a woman. Surely he would not say that I could not adequately represent him in his spiritual mission because I am not a man!”
 
Women who feel like this not only need support in today’s climate in the Church. They may well ultimately be proved right in their deep sense of what is truly Christian. And, unexpectedly, they have an ally in that amazing saint: St.Thérèse of Lisieux.
 
Longing for the priesthood
 
It is well known that Thérèse ardently desired to be a priest. In her Story of a Soul we hear her make this beautiful prayer to Jesus: “If I were a priest, how lovingly I would carry you in my hands when you came down from heaven at my call; how lovingly I would bestow you upon people’s souls. I want to enlighten people’s minds as the prophets and the doctors did. I feel the call of an Apostle. I would love to travel all over the world, making your name known and planting your cross on a heathen soil”.

Story of a Soul, ed.G.M.DAY, Burns&Oates, London 1951, p. 187. Read also the perceptive analysis of this passage in Monica FURLONG, Thérèse of Lisieux. Virago, London 1987, p. 95.
Moreover, this was not just a passing wish. It was something that had become part of her inner spiritual life. Among the testimonies from the process of her beatification there is a long and detailed statement by her sister, Céline Martin. She gave her testimony in September 1910 before a diocesan tribunal, set up by the Bishop of Bayeux and Lisieux. Céline declared under oath that “in 1897, but before she was really ill, Sister Thérèse told me she expected to die that year. Here is the reason she gave me for this in June. When she realised that she had pulmonary tuberculosis, she said: ‘You see, God is going to take me at an age when I would not have had the time to become a priest.... If I could have been a priest, I would have been ordained at these June ordinations. So what did God do? So that I would not be disappointed, he let me be sick: in that way I could not have been there, and I would die before I could exercise my ministry’.”
 
Céline, who was closer to Thérèse than anyone has ever been, continued: “The sacrifice of not being able to be a priest was something Thérèse always felt deeply. During her illness, whenever we were cutting her hair she would ask for a tonsure, and then joyfully feel it with her hand. But her regret did not find its expression merely in such trifles; it was caused by a real love of God, and inspired high hopes in her. The thought that St. Barbara had brought communion to St. Stanislaus Kostka thrilled her. ”Why must I be a nun, and not an angel or a priest?" she said."Oh! What wonders we shall see in heaven! I have a feeling that those who desired to be priests on earth will be able to share in their honour of the priesthood in heaven".

The text quoted by E. DOYLE OFM, ‘The Ordination of Women in the Roman Catholic Church’ in Feminine in the Church, ed. M. FURLONG, SPCK, London 1984. p. 40.
We should note that the interesting point here is not only Thérèse’s wish to do anything she could for Jesus. The point is that, being thoroughly Catholic in her faith and in her spiritual aspirations, she could absolutely see no contradiction between her being a woman and her being a priest, even though the Church of her time did not ordain women as priests. Without discussing the matter theologically, she grasped in her spontaneous Catholic awareness that she would have been a good priest if only the Church would have granted her priestly ordination.
 
The reasons of the heart
 
Thérèse, as far as we know, never discussed the arguments against the ordination of women in an academic fashion. Probably she was resigned to the fact that in her time society favoured men in almost every area of life. She must have realised that women were excluded from the priesthood just as they were excluded from all responsible public functions, whether in government, the army, commerce, health or education. Thérèse knew she lived in a world dominated by men.
 
What she did not accept, and would never have accepted, is the notion that it was Jesus who barred her from the priesthood, and for no other reasons than for her being a woman. Even less would she have agreed to the view that a man, merely because he is male, represents Jesus better. The idea would have been repulsive to her since she would have recognised in this view an inversion of Gospel priorities.
 
The origin of stressing the priest’s maleness as a sacramental sign in ordination lies in the medieval notion that ‘women is an incomplete man’ (Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica I Q 92, art II). The notion derived from Aristotle and other Greek writers who, ignorant of modern biology, considered only the man as the carrier of future life. For the same reason St Bonaventure wrote that only the male person presents a true image of God (Quartum Librum Sententiarum dist 25, a.2, qu. 1; etc.).

Such notions are now totally discarded by all but the most obtuse theologians. In Thérèse’s time such arguments were still common place. Thérèse, however, would never have agreed. She would have seen in the stress on the male sex as an essential characteristic of the priesthood, a serious undervaluing of the priesthood of Christ.


What are the features described by Scripture itself as pre-eminent in signifying Christ’s presence? If we go by the qualifications seen in Jesus, the high priest, we find the following to be of paramount importance in his priesthood:

  • to be called by God (Heb 5, 4);
  • having suffered oneself, to be able to help those who are tempted (Heb 5, 1-2);
  • to be able to sympathise with people’s weaknesses (Heb 4, 14-16); and
  • to be able to deal gently with the ignorant and the wayward (Heb 5, 1-10).
These were precisely the kind of things Thérèse dreamed of doing for Jesus as his priest.
 
The letter to the Hebrews, the most explicit New Testament writing about the Christian priesthood abandons the ancient requirement that a priest be a male descendant of Aaron and proclaims a new priesthood ruled by its own law (Heb 7, 11-12).
 
If we listen to Christ himself, we hear him stress love as the sign he requires.
  • By laying down his life for his friends Christ proved his love (Jn 15, 12-13).
  • It is by such love that the true shepherd is distinguished from the hireling (Jn 10, 11-15).
  • Readiness to serve, not the power to dominate, makes one to be like Christ (Mt 20, 24-28).
  • Not in presiding at table alone but in washing people’s feet is the Master recognised (Jn 13, 12-16).
One should note that we are not dealing here with a mere moral requirement but with an element that has sign value. ‘By this love you have for one another, everyone will know that you are my disciples’ (Jn 13, 35). Although Christ is speaking of love as a commandment, he is here addressing the apostles on the very occasion he is ordaining them as his priests. His ‘Do this in memory of Me’ presupposes pastoral love as the special sign by which his disciples should be recognised. It is such love he demands from Peter before entrusting him with the apostolic commission (Jn 21, 15-17).
 
Such considerations do not directly prove that women could be ordained priests. They demonstrate, however, that Scripture itself lays stress on values such as sympathy, service and love rather than on accidentals like being a man when considering the sacramental sign.
 
Thérèse was, therefore, close to Scripture in her conviction that she could be a priest. She knew herself to be nearer to Christ’s mind when she implied that a woman filled with the spirit of Christ’s pastoral love is a more ‘fitting’ image of his presence than a man who were to lack such love.
 
Thérèse’s enduring testimony
 
When Thérèse lived her short and intense spiritual journey, photography had just become an important new tool of self expression. We are fortunate, indeed, in possessing a number of snapshots that express different high points in her life.
 
Among them is a moving picture of Thérèse behind a table, preparing the chalice and ciborium for Mass. It was taken in 1891 when, for a short period, she served as sacristan for her community. Thérèse enjoyed this task enormously, as her contemporaries have testified. But the photograph must have been of great significance to Thérèse.
 
She stands behind the table as if it were an altar. She holds a host in her hand as if she is a priest, ready to distribute Holy Communion. Thérèse who would ask for a priestly tonsure on her head during her final illness, could not but have imagined herself a priest at that moment. “If I were a priest, O Jesus, with what love would I give you to people!” (Story of a Soul, p. 187).
 


Another image from Thérèse’s life comes to mind in this context. As is well known, Thérèse applied for admission to the Carmelite Convent in 1887 in spite of her being only 14 years old. On pilgrimage to Rome, she met Pope Leo XIII on the 20th of November that same year. She put her request to the Holy Father himself. The scene has been wonderfully captured in a painting by her sister Céline in 1903. We see the young Thérèse trustfully kneeling at the side of the venerable old man, her hands tenderly folded on his right knee and her wide blue eyes looking up at the wizened features of the Pope. Their conversation is also very meaningful.




“My child”, the Pontiff said. “Do as your Superiors decide”.
 
"But, Most Holy Father”, Thérèse insisted, “if only you would say ‘yes’, everyone else would agree too.”

Leo XIII looked at her and said: “Come, come, your wish will be granted if God so wills”. While he raised his hand in benediction, two of the papal guard led her away in tears.

This image, of the saint imploring the Holy Father, is very symbolic to me. All the more so because the Pontiff’s diplomatic reply contained the prophetic statement: if God so wills. Her wish was, indeed, granted. Soon afterwards, Thérèse was admitted to the Carmel.
 
Catholic women who feel hurt because women are at present excluded from the priestly ministry by the official Church, may take heart from St.Thérèse of Lisieux. She was convinced that “God would never inspire me with desires which cannot be realised” ( Story of a Soul, p. 135). In her simple ‘little’ way, Thérèse stands out as a mighty prophet, challenging the conscience of Church leaders to re-examine the facts.
 
Moreover, Thérèse has now been formally declared a Doctor of the Church, someone who through her life and her writings taught the whole community of believers about faith and about what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
 
In Thérèse’s time the priestly ordination of women was utterly unthinkable. Yet, understanding Christ’s love, she imagined herself a priest and knew it was not Christ who discounted her but human circumstances. Catholic women today may nurture a similar hope in spite of official opposition. It is my considered opinion that the sensus fidelium, as a groundswell of ever growing spiritual awareness, will eventually overturn the official stand of the Church; as it has so often done in the past.
 
John Wijngaards
Therese
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RE: Saint Therese of Lisieux: Called to Priesthood 2008/02/25 16:12:35 (permalink)
The Vatican didn't recently declare St. Therese a doctor of the Church because it is promoting women's ordination. St. Therese hasn't been the symbol of women's ordination for the last 100+ years, St. Therese has been the symbol of women's obedience for the last 100+ years.

woman who votes with feet


Dear Woman Who Votes with Feet,

I agree with you. But the Vatican story about St. Therese is not her full story. They can't cage her spirit. It inspires me to think that some one hundred years after her death, this gentle woman reminds us that the Vatican story will not be her 'defining moment' and that women are called to priesthood. Her true story is emerging and it provides tremendous support to the cause for women in the Church. In the homes of Catholics all over the world hangs the picture of a young woman's face. She is emerging as an emblem as her face reminds us, 'Women are called to priesthood. I am one of them."

We have a choice. We can keep looking backwards and in essence give de facto concurrence to the Vatican spin, or we can embrace what's true and good and help her story move forward.

with my eyes fixed on Christ,

Therese
post edited by Therese - 2008/02/26 04:55:09
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RE: Saint Therese of Lisieux: Called to Priesthood 2008/02/25 22:35:43 (permalink)

The wax effigy you talk about as petite--------Saint Therese  of Lisieux was actually Tall-------   the community called her the tall girl, so that is not accurate either if the statue or effigy of her in glass is supposed to be Saint Therese of Lisieux.   She was tall in real life, so they even got that part wrong about her!

Saint Therese of Lisieux, the truth is she was ardently interested in being a priest for the church.  That was her vocation and calling from Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit.

It really depends on what one would call "tall."  She would certainly have been taller than those of her community who had been born during the great post-Napoleonic famine, I'm sure, and by Old World standards, those of us of the New World were of course considered to be tall as Amazons.  She would not have been considered tall in the New World, and would not be considered tall by today's standards.
Her effigy was a 1:1 scale model of her dead body on display in France since her death and bore a certificate of authenticity from the authorities there.  There was no Vatican "spin."  I clearly am not understanding the concept of the Vatican having put some manner of spin on the matter; have people just recently re-discovered the writings of St. Therese?  As far as I know, her writings were aways well known. Certainly those who were old women when I was a child knew them very well and would quote word for word from her writings. 
 
Yes, of course, St. Therese felt all of that, wrote and said all of that, believed all of that, and sacrificed all of that to God and to Church in love and obedience.  It was exactly why the women said she was better off dying young.  I would also guess that it is also why the Church most recently declared her a doctor of the Church.
The Vatican certainly didn't declare her a doctor of the Church out of unawareness of her writings; it's not as though her writings have been buried under a rock for the last thousand years. 
 
woman who votes with feet
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RE: Saint Therese of Lisieux: Called to Priesthood 2008/02/26 03:44:16 (permalink)
What does your name mean...woman who votes with feet? What is your position on women ordination and why do you visit this website?  Yes the Vatican is putting a "spin" on the writings of St. Therese and people are starting to realize what is really in her writings that they did not  maybe recognize or understand back in 1899 or 1910 or 1925 or 1956.  Please keep in mind women even getting the right to vote is rather new in  most countries of the world, and many still do not let women vote even today.  So yes, seeing what really is there in her writings, her request and affirmation of women ordination as a true calling for women is very important to recognize today.    
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RE: Saint Therese of Lisieux: Called to Priesthood 2008/02/26 14:54:05 (permalink)
Although I was raised with just this sort of tradition, I did not know that they were still doing this: St. Therese's relics will visit Cebu, Philipines, this Wednesday:
http://globalnation.inquirer.net/cebudailynews/news/view/20080217-119445/St-Therese-relics-to-visit-Cebu-Feb-27
If there is "spin" this is indeed the sort of "spin" I experienced.  I am comfortable with the accusation of spin; but what exactly does everybody think this particular form of spin is all about?  Why specifically the "missions?"  What becomes the message to women of the 3rd world?  What becomes the message to young girls of the 3rd world?  Why do they do this sort of thing?  How does it affect young children?  How is it supposedly designed to affect young children?
Those who were old women in my day did say they thought she was better off dead.  I wonder what the old women in Cebu tell their daughters and granddaughters.
 
woman who votes with feet
 
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RE: Saint Therese of Lisieux: Called to Priesthood 2008/02/26 18:08:12 (permalink)
Where did you view the St. Therese relics please and was it sent about the country  you are/were in and was this when you were an adult, teenager or child, or did you see it in France? 
 
 I notice that article does not discuss St. Therese really at all and leaves out any mention that she is Doctor of The Church.  She is being there a poster girl to increase missions for the church I suppose.  Doing good works from heaven.  The missions of our church need women as priests and deacons too so these missions can be safer more Christlike church communities.  Male only clergy has led to dreadful abuse of children, men and women.  St. Therese of Lisieux lets us know the need to allow women ordination.
 
 Pamphlets about her are often heavily censored, leaving out her vocation of priesthood.   As shown in above posts she refers to her authentic calling to be a priest often in her writings.  The truth is there in her writings and we are grateful they were published so soon after her death by the nuns of her convent.  The restoration of positive biblical women to the Catholic Lectionary is another example of the dreadful censorship and excising out of women from Christianity that the Vatican does, to great harm to our world and the church and world community.  The women are the "disappeared" due to the actions of the Vatican.
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RE: Saint Therese of Lisieux: Called to Priesthood 2008/02/26 18:16:01 (permalink)
The Roman Catholic Church when it "revised" the Catholic Lectionary removed most references to positive biblical women.  Making the good women of the bible in many cases the "disappeared".. This is certainly not the religion of Jesus to deliberately omit the good women of the bible and what they did for the church.  My family will not return to the Roman Catholic Church until the Lectionary is corrected to include the positive biblical women .  It is disgraceful what the Vatican has done as well as the way the Vatican orchestrated the coverup of the priest pedophile abuse of Catholic children and vulnerable youths and adults.
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RE: Saint Therese of Lisieux: Called to Priesthood 2008/02/27 00:24:39 (permalink)
Can anyone explain what exactly is a Doctor of the Church?  Could a living woman ever be a Doctor of the Church or would she have to be dead?
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RE: Saint Therese of Lisieux: Called to Priesthood 2008/02/27 02:22:10 (permalink)
Can anyone explain what exactly is a Doctor of the Church?


 
Dear friend,
 
I am pleased to oblige. A brief overview is as follows.

The title Doctor of the Church is an official honour bestowed by the Pope in recognition of the outstanding contribution a person has made to the understanding and development of Christian doctrine. As of today, thirty-three people are recognised as Doctors. The most recent appointments have been women --Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, and Therese of Lisieux.

Three requirements must be fulfilled in order to merit the title of Doctor. These are: 
  • eminens doctrina - eminent learning and depth of doctrinal insight
  • insignis vitae sanctitas - a high degree of sanctity
  • Ecclesiae declaratio - a proclamation by the Church.

Ecclesiae declaratio is a declaration by the Pope or a general council. Though general councils have acclaimed the writings of certain Doctors, to date no council has ever conferred the title 'Doctor of the Church.' In practice, the procedure consists in extending to the universal church the use of the Office and Mass of a saint in which the title of doctor is applied to her. The decree is issued by the Congregation of Sacred Rites. After careful examination of the saint's writings, the decree is approved by the pope. The decree is not an ex cathedra decision (ie, it is not a decision of the Pope alone.) And it does not amount to a declaration that the saint's teachings are free from error. It is well known that the very greatest among them are not immune from error.

Of the thirty three Doctors of the Church, only three are women. In other words, ten times more men than women have been officially recognised as Doctors.

In the early 1960's, Pope John XXIII started to chip away at the Church tendency to favour recognition of men. In 1970, Pope Paul VI followed suite when he proclaimed the first women Doctors, Teresa of Avila and Catherine of Siena. Pope John Paul II's 1997 recognition of Therese of Lisieux moved women into the spotlight just a little bit more. Though I am certain JPII did not intend to give a boost to the cause of women priests, his proclamation of Therese of Lisieux has had this effect. As more of us learn about her struggles to manage a discerned call to priesthood (she grieved over the fact that sacramental Holy Orders were closed on the basis that she was  a woman) she continues to raise awareness about God's invitations to women.

It is interesting to note that two out of the three women Doctors (Catherine of Siena and Therese of Lisieux) frequently and clearly expressed their desire to become priests. 
 
While Teresa of Avila does not outright express a calling to priesthood, her writings bear witness to a controlled sorrow over the fact that a woman does not have the same opportunity as a man to work for the Church. In her first version of The Way of Perfection (ch 3) Teresa complains to the Lord about the way women are treated: "as if we couldn't do anything worthwhile for you in public and not even be able to put a finger on the sensitive point that we wept over in secret". It is always men who are the judges here on earth, she writes, and they have little faith in women's capabilities and virtues. She finishes by saying: "... when I see what the times are like, I feel it is not right to repel spirits which are virtuous and brave, even though they be the spirits of women".*

 
Could a living woman ever be a Doctor of the Church or would she have to be dead?  

 
From what I have read, I do not see a specific requirement Doctor must be an historical figure.  Having said this, given that Vatican discernments as to an individual's 'high degree of sanctity in life' are usually made after a person's death, in my view, it is unlikely that a living person would be proclaimed a Doctor of the Church. 
 
I hope this helps.  If you have more questions, please let me know.

With love and blessings,
~Sophie~
 

* as cited in Catherine Broome's article, The Priestly Vocation of Therese of the Child Jesus, see here: http://www.womenpriests.org/called/broome.asp 
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RE: Saint Therese of Lisieux: Called to Priesthood 2008/02/28 11:56:09 (permalink)
Teresa of Avila "when I see that the times are like , I feel it is not right to repel spirits which are virtuous and brave  even though they be the spirits of women."
 
These words are so prophetic from this lady Doctor of the Church.  Look at how now Ireland has hardly any new priests and a great shortage of priests because of the great evil caused and loss of faith caused by an all male clergy that abused their priestly power by sexually abusing so many Roman Catholic Irish parishioner children.
 
When we see what the times are like as Teresa of Avila says we need to ordain the virtuous and brave spirits of women too to help our church, after all Jesus teaches us in his dialogue with the Samaritan woman that God is Spirit .
 
 There are no barriers to who can serve in his church, drive no one away, no male or female, all are one in Christ, rule over noone and all have the same feeling and action in the church.  It is so wrong that the pope puts up barriers against women being ordained and thus the church suffers so much from the Pope's and Vatican's continued abuse of Catholic women, children and men.
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RE: Saint Therese of Lisieux: Called to Priesthood 2008/02/28 12:04:24 (permalink)
By the popes making the women saints Teresa of Avila and Catherine of Sienna and Theresa of Lisieux all Doctors of the Church as a very profound level the Holy Spirit is making known that the great sin of excluding women from ordination can no longer be sustained in any true way of the faith. 
 
Teresa of Avila Doctor of the church also asks of Jesus why women are barred from truly serving God in public and why women spirits are rejected .  She questions the exclusion of women from ordination and service too and proclaims the necessity for fairness and equality, use of women too as ordained servants of God too.  She calls women able to be "virtuous and brave."  She does not claim women are too wicked or weak.  It is wrong for the Vatican to stop women from being priests and deacons.
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RE: Saint Therese of Lisieux: Called to Priesthood 2008/07/19 16:00:40 (permalink)
Therese also admired Judith of the Old Testament very much.
 
The current Church Fathers would have us believe that Therese was a demure, sweet, delicate child.  Given her great admiration for Joan of Arc, for Judith and her inner knowledge of a calling to be a warrior, a priest, an apostle nothing could be further from Truth.
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RE: Saint Therese of Lisieux: Called to Priesthood 2008/08/20 00:00:47 (permalink)
Pope approves beatification of St. Therese's parents in Lisieux
By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service
August 19, 2008

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI has approved the beatification of Louis and Marie Zelie Guerin Martin, the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux. The couple will be beatified Oct. 19, World Mission Sunday, during a Mass in the Basilica of St. Therese in Lisieux, France, the Vatican announced Aug. 19.

St. Therese and St. Francis Xavier are the patron saints of the missions.

 

Catholic News Service Photo
Louis and Marie Zelie Guerin Martin, the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux, will be beatified Oct. 19 at the Basilica of St. Therese in Lisieux, France. (CNS/Sanctuary of Lisieux)

The Vatican did not say who would preside at the Martins' beatification Mass. With beatification, the diocese where the candidate lived or the religious order to which the person belonged is authorized to hold public commemorations on the person's feast day. With the declaration of sainthood, public liturgical celebrations are allowed around the world.

The Martins were declared venerable, one of the first steps in the sainthood process, in 1994. But despite the active encouragement of Pope John Paul II to move the cause forward, the miracle needed for their beatification was not approved by the Vatican until early July.

Louis lived 1823-1894 and his wife lived 1831-1877. They had nine children, five of whom joined religious orders.

Also Aug. 19, the Vatican announced four other beatification ceremonies:

  • Sister Vincenza Maria Poloni, founder of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy in Italy, will be beatified Sept. 21 in Verona, Italy.
  • Father Michael Sopocko, founder of the Sisters of Merciful Jesus and spiritual director of St. Faustina Kowalska, will be beatified Sept. 28 at the Church of Divine Mercy in Bialystok, Poland.
  • Father Francesco Pianzola, founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Queen of Peace, will be beatified Oct. 4 in Vigevano, Italy.
  • Father Francesco Giovanni Bonifacio, martyred in 1946 by Yugoslav communists, will be beatified Oct. 4 in Trieste, Italy.

http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0804225.htm
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RE: Saint Therese of Lisieux: Called to Priesthood 2008/08/20 00:37:56 (permalink)

 
"I feel the vocation of the WARRIOR, THE PRIEST, THE APOSTLE, THE DOCTOR, THE MARTYR. ... I feel in me the vocation of the PRIEST. With what love, O Jesus, I would take You in my hands when, at my voice, You would come down from heaven. And with what love would I give You to souls!"

- St. Therese of Lisieux
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RE: Saint Therese of Lisieux: Called to Priesthood 2008/10/02 07:43:33 (permalink)
St. Thérèse Can Help Youth Be Faithful, Says Pope
zenit.org
October 1, 2008

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 1, 2008 (Zenit.org).- As the Church celebrates today the feast of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Benedict XVI presented her as a support for youth.

At the end of today's general audience held in St. Peter's Square, the Pope greeted youth, the sick and several recently married couples. He recalled St. Thérèse of Lisieux, a Carmelite nun who died at age 24, and who is now a doctor of the Church and the patron of missions.

"May her evangelical testimony support you, dear youth, in the commitment of daily fidelity to Christ," he said. Addressing the ill, the Holy Father expressed his wish that the young saint would motivate them "to follow Jesus on the path of tests and suffering."

Finally, in greeting the recently married, he spoke of his hope that St. Thérèse would help "to make of your families a place of growth in love for God and for our brothers."

Louis and Marie-Zélie Martin, parents of St. Thérèse, will be beatified on Mission Sunday at the Cathedral of Lisieux. Mission Sunday is celebrated this year on Oct. 19.

http://www.zenit.org/article-23777?l=english
Sophie
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RE: Saint Therese of Lisieux: Called to Priesthood 2008/10/02 07:54:10 (permalink)
Died on September 30 in 1897St Therese of Lisieux, mystic, saint, Carmelite nun, Doctor of the Church, devout Catholic woman who spoke and wrote about her to priesthood.


Saint Therese of Lisieux

I feel the vocation of the WARRIOR, THE PRIEST, THE APOSTLE, THE DOCTOR, THE MARTYR.  Finally, I feel the need and the desire of carrying out the most heroic deeds for You, O Jesus. I feel within my soul the courage of the Crusader, the Papal Guard, and I would want to die on the field of battle in defense of the Church. I feel in me the vocation of the PRIEST. With what love, O Jesus, I would take You in my hands when, at my voice, You would come down from heaven. And with what love would I give You to souls!

  • St. Therese of Lisieux
Sophie
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RE: Saint Therese of Lisieux: Called to Priesthood 2008/10/12 15:01:44 (permalink)
 
 
 

 
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, the French Carmelite nun, made the simple things of life the seedbed of her sanctity. She was also one of the first women who declared her desire to be a priest. “Since I cannot be a priest on earth,” she said, “I would prefer to go to heaven.” God who had no place for inequities in heaven would, in due time she knew, bring to ripe the spiritual gifts of women.
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RE: Saint Therese of Lisieux: Called to Priesthood 2008/10/13 01:02:52 (permalink)
St. Thérèse of Lisieux (1873-1897)

Doctor of the Church

On 19th October 1997, just 100 years after her death, St. Thérèse of Lisieux (the "Little Flower") was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by His Holiness Pope John Paul II. She was the third woman to receive this title, which has been conferred on 30 men. Less publicised is the fact that Thérèse felt a strong calling to the priesthood.

Among the testimonies from the process of her beatification there is a long and detailed statement by her sister, Céline Martin, whose name in religion was Sister Genevieve of St. Teresa. She gave her testimony from 14 to 28 September 1910 before a diocesan tribunal, set up by the bishop of Bayeux and Lisieux. Sister Genevieve bore witness under oath that:


In 1897, but before she was really ill, Sister Thérèse told me she expected to die that year. Here is the reason she gave me for this in June. When she realised that she had pulmonary tuberculosis, she said: 'You see, God is going to take me at an age when I would not have had the time to become a priest ... If I could have been a priest, I would have been ordained at these June ordinations. So, what did God do? So that I would not be disappointed, he let me be sick: in that way I couldn't have been there, and I would die before I could exercise my ministry.' The sacrifice of not being able to be a priest was something she always felt deeply. During her illness, whenever we were cutting her hair she would ask for a tonsure, and then joyfully feel it with her hand. But her regret did not find its expression merely in such trifles; it was caused by a real love of God, and inspired high hopes in her. The thought that St Barbara had brought communion to St Stanislas Kostka thrilled her. 'Why must I be a virgin, and not an angel or a priest?' she said. 'Oh! what wonders we shall see in heaven! I have a feeling that those who desired to be priests on earth will be able to share in the honour of the priesthood in heaven.'
from: St. Thérèse of Lisieux by those who knew her: Testimonies from the Process of Beatification, ed. and trans. by C. O'Mahony, OCD (Dublin, 1975) pp155-6 as quoted in The Ordination of Women in the Roman Catholic Church, by Eric Doyle OFM
For further reading on this subject, see The Priestly Vocation of Therese of the Child Jesus by Catherine Broome OP, SPIRITUALITY Volume 6, No. 30 + 31, Dominican Publications, 42 Parnell Square, Dublin 1
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RE: Saint Therese of Lisieux: Called to Priesthood 2008/10/13 02:42:44 (permalink)

 


 

 'You see, God is going to take me at an age when I would not have had the time to become a priest ... If I could have been a priest, I would have been ordained at these June ordinations. So, what did God do? So that I would not be disappointed, he let me be sick: in that way I couldn't have been there, and I would die before I could exercise my ministry.' 
 
 'Why must I be a virgin, and not an angel or a priest?' she said. 'Oh! what wonders we shall see in heaven! I have a feeling that those who desired to be priests on earth will be able to share in the honour of the priesthood in heaven.'


 
 
 
It seems St Therese preferred death to living under the tyranny of masculine rule.
 
She preferred the rule of God over the rule of man. Heaven would be better. It had to be.
 
In the prayer “The Our Father” we say “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
If we are to establish the reign of God on earth, how can anyone justify exclusion of women from Holy Orders? Unless of course you believe that there is discrimination against women in heaven.
 
St Therese knew better. Her tortured heart found comfort in the knowledge that God would not exclude her from the priesthood. She knew that God would bestow that honor of priest on her in heaven for all eternity.
 
 
Sophie
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RE: Saint Therese of Lisieux: Called to Priesthood 2008/11/24 16:08:23 (permalink)
ORIGINAL: Sophie




"I feel the vocation of the WARRIOR, THE PRIEST, THE APOSTLE, THE DOCTOR, THE MARTYR. ... I feel in me the vocation of the PRIEST. With what love, O Jesus, I would take You in my hands when, at my voice, You would come down from heaven. And with what love would I give You to souls!"

- St. Therese of Lisieux



St. Thérèse Relic Makes Space Flight
zenit.org
November 20, 2008

NEW CANEY, Texas, NOV. 20, 2008 (Zenit.org).- St. Thérèse wrote that she wanted to be a missionary on every continent simultaneously and reach the most remote islands -- now her dream has extended to space flight.

The Carmelite community of New Caney, Texas, enjoys the friendship of Colonel Ron Garan, who was on the May 31-June 14 Discovery shuttle mission.

Before heading into space, Garan had called the women religious to request their prayer for the voyage, and he told them he could take some small item into space on behalf of the community.

The sisters reported that the words of St. Thérèse came to mind: "I have the vocation of an apostle. I would like to travel over the whole earth to preach your name and to plant your glorious cross on infidel soil. But oh, my beloved, one mission would not be enough for me, I would want to preach the Gospel on all five continents simultaneously and even to the most remote isles. I would be a missionary, not for a few years but from the beginning of creation until the consummation of the ages."

The Carmelites gave the astronaut a relic of St. Thérèse for his flight.

Now, they report, she has traveled 5,735,643 miles around the earth for 14 days at 17,057 miles an hour. Meanwhile, the sisters commended the world to her intercession.

http://www.zenit.org/article-24317?l=english
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