St. Therese of Lisieux
Born to a middle-class French family. Her father, Louis, was a watchmaker, her mother, who died of cancer when Therese was 4, was a lace maker, and both have been canonized by the Church. Cured from an illness at age eight when a statue of the Blessed Virgin smiled at her. Carmelite nun at age 15. Defined her path to God and holiness as “The Little Way,” which consisted of love and trust in God. At the direction of her spiritual director, and against her wishes, she dictated her famed autobiography Story of a Soul. Many miracles attributed to her. Declared a Doctor of the Church in 1997 by Pope John Paul II. Her Feast Day is October 1.
“You know well enough that Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them.”
St. John Vianney
Farm hand who in his youth taught other children their prayers and catechism. Ordained in 1815, though it took several years study as he had little education, was not a very good student, and his Latin was terrible. Assigned for a while to Ecully. In 1818 he was assigned to the parish of Ars, a tiny village near Lyons, which suffered from very lax attendance; he began visiting his parishioners, especially the sick and poor. Spent days in prayer, doing penance for his parishioners. Gifted with discernment of spirits, prophecy, hidden knowledge, and working miracles. Tormented by evil spirits, especially when he tried to get his 2-3 hours of sleep each night. Crowds came to hear him preach, and to make their reconciliation because of his reputation with penitents; by 1855 there were 20,000 pilgrims a year to Ars. Spent 40 years as the parish priest. His Feast Day is August 4.
“My little children, reflect on these words: the Christian’s treasure is not on earth but in heaven. Our thoughts, then, ought to be directed to where out treasure is. This is the glorious duty of man: to pray and to love. If you pray and love, that is where a man’s happiness lies.”