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Wisdom of the Saints

St. Thérèse De Lisieux:

St. Thérèse is one of our favourite saints, mainly because of her "little way". Pope Pius XI called St. Thérèse "a masterpiece of grace and nature" and stated that "if her way of spiritual childhood became general, it would bring the reform of human society". That is quite an amazing statement!  Pope Pius XI was actually declaring that if a great number of people embraced St. Thérèse's little way, the world would essentially be transformed. That's one of the many compelling reasons we have for sharing with you what we've learned about her teaching on spiritual childhood.

Linda and I have seen a few movies and read a few books on her life, but they have often struck us as being a little "syrupy" and a tad sentimental.  We see her as a strong woman of faith whose doctrine may be simple but definitely not easy! Her "way" is robust and deeply anchored in the gospels. St John Paul II named her a Doctor of the Church but some people may not fully appreciate the implications of that. It means that her spiritual doctrine is on par with the likes of Sts Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross, to name but a few. That should be enough to gain our attention.

Another striking feature of her life is that even though she quickly attained a very high degree of holiness, St. Thérèse went relatively unnoticed in her own convent. This and several other somewhat surprising and little known characteristics are all part of what makes our favourite saint so unique.

The videos below were first presented as a weekly series. We suggest that you view them in the sequence presented below, since they build one onto another. (Intro, Week 1, 2, 3...etc.). 

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Introduction: In this introductory video, Marcel explains why St. Thérèse is considered to be "the greatest saint of modern times" (Pope St Pius X), helping us to rediscover the heart of the Gospels.

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Methods of Prayer: When interviewed, Sr. Geneviève revealed that her "sister had no devotions". Thérèse's prayer was really very simple; she would gaze upon God and allow Him to gaze upon her. 

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Secret of Sanctity: St. Thérèse de Lisieux's spirituality was very simple. Her trust in God's love for her was the one thing that undergirded her whole relationship with Him which is why she attained holiness so quickly.

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Mystical Phenomena: Four characteristics, common in the lives of most saints, are conspicuously absent from the life of St Thérèse. One of these  was the absence of mystical phenomena.

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Remarkable Deeds: Despite having achieved a high degree of holiness, the life of St Thérèse was not accompanied by any remarkable deeds, as is so often the case in the life of a saint. 

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I Believe In Love: This superb book by a renowned spiritual director, Fr. Jean C.J. d'Elbée, is the transcription of a personal retreat based on the teachings of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. 

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Mortifications: St Thérèse was a spiritual pioneer and innovator. Marcel explains how little souls, taking St. Thérèse as their model, can achieve a great degree of holiness through practicing the way of "little" penances.

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Disposition of the Heart: St Thérèse, considered a spiritual genius, articulated one of the most beautiful definitions of holiness; one that reflects her 'new way' to holiness.

Pope St. John Paul II:

Pope St. John Paul II is without doubt one of our favourite saints. In our humble opinion he’s also not only one of the greatest saints but also one of the greatest popes in 2000 years of Church history. He had the compassionate heart of a pastor, was a zealous evangelist, a prolific author, philosopher, athlete, playwright and actor.  He learned to speak fifteen languages, becoming fluent in nine of them. He was a devoted priest, bishop and pontiff and a man deeply committed to prayer.  To use St. Paul’s image, Pope John Paul II “ran the race” to a measure and over a distance few, if any, could equal! 

One simple anecdote should suffice to illustrate the exceptional nature of this disciple of Jesus.  While still a young priest, Karol Wojtyla was so captured by the writings of St John of the Cross on prayer and the mystical life that he learned Spanish so that he could read his writings in the original Spanish!


He was known for his tender devotion to Our Lady, yet in all of his writing and preaching, he proclaimed Jesus. Through one of his inspired initiatives - World Youth Days -  hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives were impacted, resulting in a considerable number of young men and women attributing to him their vocation to the priesthood or religious life. An even greater number of laity credit him with confirming them in their vocation to marriage and aiding them in pastoring their “domestic church”. 

We start our videos on this great man with a series on a document that is dear to my heart because of its prophetic nature: "Novo Millennio Ineunte" known in English as "Into the Third Millenium".  


Novo Millennio Ineunte: God's prophetic pastoral plan for the 3rd millennium, as revealed to arguably one of the greatest saints and popes of all time, offers us much hope for the future!

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NMI: Mystical Prayer is a Gift. Misunderstanding the nature of mystical prayer can can potentially rob us of a tremendous grace. St John Paul II's explanation of this gift of deep prayer is very enlightening!


NMI: The Call to Holiness. God revealed to St John Paul II a remarkable plan for the 3rd millennium. Here is his top priority to guide us in fulfilling that plan!


The Signs of Our Times? In the Fall of 1976, cardinal Karol Wojtyla, later to become Pope John Paul II, was quoted in the Wall St. Journal about our age and the coming trials which are to come upon the whole church.

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NMI: Profound Prayer.  Building upon the first priority of holiness, St John Paul II now begins presenting us with the profound vision of prayer we are all called to. 

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