blank'/> SHARING CATHOLIC TRUTH: The Story of 'The Smile' - St Therese of Lisieux

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Story of 'The Smile' - St Therese of Lisieux

"Our Lady was very lovely, and I saw her come toward me and smile."

Although Our Lord, Jesus Christ was the dominant figure in St. Therese's life, the Blessed Virgin Mary held a very important place therein. In her, St. Therese found an 'Exemplar'---"love of virginity; humility so profound that it draws to itself the Most Holy Trinity; material and spiritual poverty; being deprived of extraordinary graces as well as of the goods of this world; ardent charity that is eager to serve the neighbour; confidence in God which awaits help from Him alone; silence which keeps within and adores the divine mysteries; a living faith, the only light in the night of the spirit and anguish of the heart; a love that gives all and itself, also in complete sacrifice."

Contemplating this beautiful story, one can recognize St. Therese's confidence in the Blessed Virgin Mary as a mother who is overflowing with love, compassion, and mercy for her children.

"When we address ourselves to (other) saints, they make us wait a while. We feel that they have to go and present their request (to God), but when we ask a grace from the Blessed Virgin, we receive immediate help. Have you experienced this? Well, try and you'll see."

"The Blessed Virgin never fails to protect me as soon as I invoke her. In my troubles and anxieties I very quickly turn towards her, and like the most tender of mothers, she always takes care of my interests."


It is said that the vision of the Blessed Virgin, of her heavenly beautiful smile had a supernatural effect on St. Therese physically, spiritually---wholistically. Fr. Jamart, OCD: "It is not an exaggeration on our part to claim that the miraculous smile of God's Mother imprinted on Therese's soul those exquisite dispositions which were to develop constantly during her life and make her, what she felicitously calls 'a miniature of the Blessed Virgin'."

In a song, St. Therese asked for the favor of the Blessed Virgin to smile again to her in her last hour: "You came to smile at me in the morning of my life; come and smile at me again...Mother, now that it is eventide."

Did the Blessed Virgin accede to her request?

"At around past 7 PM of September 30, 1897, because she had fallen gently backwards, it was believed that she had died, but she suddenly lifted up her head; her eyes gazed fixedly at the statue of Mary and then above her in an ecstatic look. They then closed, but an inexpressible smile lit up her countenance..."

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