B.C. Catholic Staff

Therese's father influenced her greatly

Voices Feb. 8, 2018

St. Therese and her father. She had a vision of him as a child that foreshadowed his approaching poor health.

In Lisieux, little Therese took a walk each day with her father. One day they came upon a poor old man who dragged himself painfully along on crutches. Therese went up to give him a penny. The old man looked at her for a long time, and then, shaking his head with a sorrowful smile, he refused her alms.

Therese's father bought her a cake. She wished very much to run after the old man and give it to him, but she was too shy to do it. Therese felt sad, but then she remembered having heard that one obtains all the favours asked for on one’s First Communion Day. Thus the six-year-old Therese said to herself: “I will pray for my poor old man on the day of my First Communion.” Five years later she faithfully kept the resolution.

To prepare for Therese's first confession, her sister Pauline said, "Therese, darling, it is not to a man but to God himself that you are going to tell your sins." During confession, the priest exhorted Therese to have a tender devotion towards Our Lady, and Therese passed the priest her Rosary to be blessed. As soon as Therese got to a street lamp she stopped and took the newly blessed rosary out of the pocket and turned it over and over. “What are you looking at, Therese, dear?” asked Pauline. “I am seeing what a blessed Rosary looks like.”

Therese loved to go to confession for all the major feasts. She also loved the procession of the Blessed Sacrament. She wrote, "What a joy it was to strew flowers in God’s path! But before scattering them on the ground I threw them high in the air, and was never so happy as when I saw my rose-leaves touch the sacred monstrance."

Therese had a special love for Sunday. At church, she listened to sermon attentively. She recalled: "A sermon on the Passion of our Blessed Lord was the first I understood, and it touched me deeply. I was then five and a half, and after that time I was able to understand and appreciate all instructions. If St. Teresa was mentioned, my Father would bend down and whisper to me: 'Listen attentively, little Queen, he is speaking of your holy patroness.' I really did listen attentively, but I must own I looked at Papa more than at the preacher, for I read many things in his face. Sometimes his eyes were filled with tears which he strove in vain to keep back; and as he listened to the eternal truths he seemed no longer of this earth, his soul was absorbed in the thought of another world. Alas! Many long and sorrowful years had to pass before heaven was to be opened to him, and Our Lord with His Own Divine Hand was to wipe away the bitter tears of his faithful servant."

During family night prayers, Therese stayed close to her father. She wrote, "I had only to look at him to know how the saints pray."

One day, while Therese's father was away at Alençon, she experienced an extraordinary vision regarding the future hardship her father would endure. It was about two or three o’clock in the afternoon, and Therese was alone at the window, looking on to the kitchen garden. She saw a man dressed exactly like her father, of the same height and appearance, but more bent and aged. The man advanced slowly, with measured step, along the little garden.  The vision left a deep impression on the memory of Therese. The vision foreshadowed the cross of poor health which her father would carry.








有一天,父親去了阿朗松,小德蘭得了一個奇特的預景:父親會有一個難受的將來。時下午約兩三時,小德蘭獨自倚凭窗前,看著廚房對出的花園,突然看到貌似父親的人,高度衣著與父親無異,只是更有老態、彎腰、步履艱辛,提著重重的腳步,踱進花園 … 。這一幕印象深刻,也預告了小德蘭父親將要面對惡劣的健康。