St. Therese of Lisieux, “Little Flower of the Child Jesus,” is beloved by many. Over the course of her brief life on earth she became a mirror of angelic purity and wholehearted abandonment to the will of God. Born in France, Therese Martin was granted permission to enter the Carmel of Lisieux at the age of fifteen where she lived until her death from tuberculosis at the age of twenty-four. For her, Jesus’ words, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven,” spoke directly to her heart. Her memoir, The Story of a Soul, conveyed to a legion of souls the essence of Jesus’ words, the importance of accepting one’s human weaknesses, even delighting in them, and of giving what one has to offer regardless of how small. Therese was canonized by Pope Pius XI in the Jubilee year of 1925 and two years later was named heavenly patroness of foreign missions. In 1997, Therese was named a Doctor of the Church.
Artist Janet McKenzie was inspired to create this interpretation of the “Little Flower” by her promise, “After my death I will send a shower of roses which will be my prayers for you.” She is presented standing on the verge of a smile and holding an arc of roses, her traditionally symbolic flower. She looks at the viewer with compassion and love. This painting celebrates the legacy of St. Therese of Lisieux, in her words, “I will spend my Heaven doing good on earth.”
(This narrative is printed on the back of Note Cards. A copy is included with each plaque.)
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Image © Janet McKenzie