Today would be Therese’s 140th Birthday! She was born on January 2, 1873 in Alencon, France, the youngest of the five surviving children of Louis and Zelie Martin. Zelie wrote to her sister-in-law the next day announcing the birth. “My little girl was born last night, Thursday, at eleven-thirty. She’s very strong and in very good health. They tell me she weighs eight pounds. Let’s say six, which is still not bad. She seems very sweet.” (A Call To A Deeper Love, pp. 103-104) 21st Century mothers might prefer a little more precise measurement on the baby’s weight!
This was a very normal and unspectacular beginning for the “greatest saint of modern times”. Then again, it was a fitting start for the one who God used to teach the Little Way to souls and who saw herself as a ‘little one’.
The Church usually celebrates a saint’s feast day on the day that he or she died – the birthday into heaven. The only two exceptions are Mary and John the Baptist. For both of these great saints the Church celebrates both their birth and their death. This being said, we can still recall the birthday of saints that we love to remind ourselves that they are human beings just like ourselves. So today I would like to celebrate the birthday of our beloved Therese.
I would also like to wish everyone a very Happy and Healthy New Year! May God bless you abundantly in 2013!