Saint Therese's Shrines

Shrine of St. Therese Juneau Alaska
Shrine of St. Therese Pueblo, Colorado

Shrine of St. Therese Pueblo, Colorado

Shrines of Saint Therese
There are many shrines to honor St Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face all over the world. In the United States, the shrine of St. Therese Juneau Alaska as been in existence for over sixty years. The Shrine of St.Therese in Pueblo, Colorado was built shortly after World War II. The Shrine of St. Therese Fresno California boasts of being the first shrine in her honor in the world.

The National Shrine of St. Therese Darien, Illinois sits on a 50-acre estate owned and operated by the Carmelites. The statue at the entrance remains from the fire of 1976 which destroyed the original shrine at St. Clara's church in Chicago. The national shrine is home to the most wonderful collection of relics, personal effect and memorabilia of Therese located outside of France. This memorabilia includes drawings of the young Therese, her toys, prayer book and a chair taken from her cell in the convent at Lisieux.

In Canada, the Carmelites came to Niagara Falls in 1875 to administer the Shrine of Our Lady of Peace. The Shrine of Saint Therese as well as the Mount Carmel Monastery and the Mount Carmel Spiritual Centre serve as a place of retreat and renewal for the needs of the people of the Niagara area.

In France, the area commonly referred to as Normandy, is also where St. Therese lived her entire life and was buried. Therese entered Carmel on April 9, 1888 at the age of fifteen, she remained there until she died at the age of twenty-four on September 30, 1897.

The public Chapel of Carmel adjoins the Monastery where Thérèse had difficulty in obtaining permission to enter at the age of fifteen. Her sisters, Pauline and Marie, entered before her and on the death of their father, in 1894, another sister, Celine, joined them. Therese's cousin, Marie Guerin, also entered the Carmel of Lisieux. In all, there were twenty-six nuns including five lay sisters and two externs at Carmel when Thérèse entered Today there are no longer lay sisters, but externs continue to play an important part.

Saint Therese's Shrine is to the right as you enter the Carmelite chapel. Her statue contains some relics and the golden rose in her hand was given by Pope Pius XI. The coat of arms at the top of the casket is a copy of one drawn by Therese herself. The initials on the above left are 'JHS', the name of Jesus in Greek. On the above right the initials, 'MFT' are Therese's three baptismal names, Marie Francoise Therese. The left side contains her titles, The Child Jesus and the Holy Face. The harp is a personal representation of Therese, who sang her love for Jesus. On the Right is 'the little flower' receiving rays of the sun.

High above the Shrine stands the statue of Our Lady of the Smile the actually statue which smiled on Therese on May 13, 1883. It is a copy of Bouchardon's 'Madonna'.

Each year when Therese's feast is celebrated her relics are taken from the vault and placed in the Brazilian Reliquary which is used in a candlelight procession through the streets of Lisieux to the Basilica. After the mass they relics are returned by way of the Cathedral.

Approaching the shrine there are small altars on each side which were given by Canon T.N, Taylor a Scotsman and one of the early translator of The Story of a Soul.

The nun's choir to the right of the main altar is marked with a cross in the stall where St. Therese sat. On the sanctuary in front of the nun's choir are the tombs of two of the founders of Carmel, Father Pierre-Nicolas Sauvage (1794-1853) and Mother Genevieve of St. Teresa (1805-1891).

The side aisle, added to since St. Therese's days, holds the statues of St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross.

Outside the chapel to the left of the main door is a plaque indicating that St. Therese's three Carmelite Sisters are laid to rest in the vaults of Carmel beneath the shrine chapel. They are Marie (Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart) died in 1940, Pauline (Mother Agnes of Jesus) in 1951 and Celine (Sister Genevieve of the Holy Face) in 1959.

The house Les Buissonnets is where Therese lived with her family before entering the Carmelite Monastery. There are also the Cathedral of Saint Pierre where Therese and her family attended Mass and the Benedictine Convent where Therese attended school from October 1881 until March of 1886.

The Basilica at Lisieux was built in order to accommodate the large crowds of pilgrims visiting the city. Work began in 1929 and it was finally consecrated on July 11, 1954. The structure dominates the town.

The Basilica, Les Buissonets and the Cathedral were miraculously preserved during World War II. For a time it was used by the occupying German forces and was later used as refuge by two of Therese's sisters, Pauline and Celine and the entire Carmelite Community as shelter during the 1944 air raids.

The town cemetery was the original burial place of St.Therese and contains the graves of members of her family and others who knew her.

Join us on

Saint Therese Medal

Quality 14k Gold Patron Saint Medals
Patron Saint Medals