Teresa of Lisieux

views updated

Teresa of Lisieux (1873–97). Carmelite nun. Born into a devout middle-class family she entered the Carmel at Lisieux when only 15. Within ten years she had died of tuberculosis. Under obedience she wrote her autobiography, and fame came to Teresa through the decision of the prioress (her sister) to publish an edited version of it. She was canonized in 1925. But Teresa's real importance lies less in the ‘saint’ propagated by her convent, than in the extraordinarily honest following of Christ in little things—the ‘little way’—revealed more clearly in the original form of her writings published in recent times.