How St. Thérèse was a missionary in spirit

Oct 12, 2021 | Blog Articles

In her autobiography, Story of a Soul, St. Thérèse of Lisieux explains her desire to save souls at an early age.

“The cry of Jesus as He died, ‘I thirst,’ echoed every moment in my soul, inflaming my heart with a burning love. I longed to satisfy His thirst for souls; I was consumed myself with this same thirst, and yearned to save them from the everlasting fires.”

This desire prompted her to become an official member of the Apostleship of Prayer on October 15, 1885, only a few months before her 13th birthday. She would spend the rest of her life offering to God her daily life, especially for missionaries.

She even wanted to become a missionary after she joined the Carmelites, willing and ready to travel to Vietnam to help establish a new monastery there.

Yet, it was not God’s will, and she joyfully accepted the task of offering her life in a missionary spirit.

“I offer every step for some missionary who, far away, is exhausted by his work for souls; I offer my exhaustion to relieve his.”

She saw the entire world as a missionary field and desired to encompass the world with her prayers.

“I long to bring light to souls, like the prophets and doctors; to go to the ends of the earth to preach Your name, to plant Your glorious Cross, my Beloved, on pagan shores. One mission field alone would never be enough; all the world, even its remotest islands, must be my mission field. Nor would my mission last a few short years, but from the beginning of the world to the End of Time.”

Being an Apostle of Prayer, it was praying for the Pope’s intentions that helped satisfy this missionary desire.

“I want to be ‘a daughter of the Church’ and pray for all the intentions of the Vicar of Christ. This is my one great aim.”

May we imitate the example of St. Thérèse of Lisieux and be a missionary, no matter if we are young, or old, married, or single, working or retired.

Philip Kosloski

Philip Kosloski is the Digital Content Manager for the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network (USA) and is also a spirituality writer for and has been featured on such places as The Huffington Post, Crisis Magazine, The Catholic Herald, Catholic Exchange, National Catholic Register and EWTN Radio.


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