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The Autobiography of Saint Therese: The Story of a Soul [Paperback]

John Beevers
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 17 1987 Image Classics

Few spiritual figures have touched as many readers in the past century as Saint Therese of Lisieux, the saint popularly known as the Little Flower. Though she was only twenty-four years old when she died, her writings have had tremendous impact, making her one of the most popular spiritual writers in the twentieth century. Her autobiography, The Story of a Soul, has been a source of priceless inspiration ever since it was written, and has become the great spiritual bestseller of our time. A hundred years after her death in 1897, millions of copies have spread throughout the world and it has been translated into more than fifty languages.

The reason for the continued success of her autobiography is, quite simply, that it is unlike any work of devotion and spiritual insight ever written. Once it is read, it cannot be forgotten. Its appeal across cultures and generations has been extensive, moving both peasants and popes, men and women, young and old -- people of every kind of intelligence and education succumb to its spell. Yet is not a conventional work of religious devotion; instead, it is in many ways a supernatural book. In the words of Pope Pius XI, Saint Therese "attained the knowledge of supernatural things in such abundant measure that she was able to point out the sure way of salvation to others," and it is especially in The Story of a Soul that she has pointed out this sure way to the generations that have followed her. As Therese herself said of this book just prior to her death, "What I have written will do a lot of good. It will make the kindness of God better known."

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Product Description


"A wonderful story of love, told with such authenticity, simplicity and freshness that the reader will be nothing but captivated ... I would like to invite all of you to rediscover this great little treasure, this glowing commentary on the Gospel fully lived." –His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI

From the Publisher

A spiritual guide for millions the world over, this is the autobiography of a holy woman who "attained to the knowledge of supernatural things in such abundant measure that she was able to point out the sure way of salvation to others." --Pope Pius XI

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I am going to entrust the story of my soul to you, my darling Mother, to you who are doubly my mother. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spiritual Triumph Through Daily Crosses March 3 2001
By A Customer
St. Theresa of Lisieux wanted all her life to be a saint. So earnest was she to enter the Carmelite Convent that she appealed to the Pope for special permission. Once inside, however, she found suffering, rejection, and misunderstanding. This book is the story of her triumph over the daily trials and tribulations of a thoroughly human life. A Classic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Down to Earth Jan. 29 2003
By C. Mann
I really liked this "story of a soul" because it was down-to-earth, and allowed me to relate to St. Therese as a real person. I get discouraged when it comes to the saints because I can never seem to imitate them in my life. This book was very encouraging though--just like St. Therese!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!! Nov. 14 2002
By A Customer
I can't say enough good things about this book. I could read it again and again. Some criticize her style and her writing abilities; however, considering her small amount of formal education, it is quite wonderful. One should consider that she was writing out of obedience and never wished it to be published.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings Oct. 29 2002
St Therese was obviously not an accomplished writer and her prose become quite wearisome. She litters her writing with a combination saccharine-sweet sentiments and Victorian angst. Nevertheless hidden in the pages of this book are some deep spiritual truths and revelations given to this saint from Jesus himself. Her method of resisting the evil, her vision of all believers as flowers in the Lord's garden, some wild, some cultivated, all different. These are profound truths spoken simply "out of the mouths of babes and sucklings" as it were. Only there are not enough of them for my liking to compensate for dreary writing in between.
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By J.D.
The insights of this cloistered Carmelite nun have profound impact over one hundred years after she put them to paper. It is amazing to read the thoughts of someone who was so close to God.
This book is a wonderful read, and no amount of explaining can give it the credit it deserves. Everyone should read this book-- period.
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To have a veritably sacred and loving bond with God is a wonderful and unexplainable sensation, an ecstasy that no degree of hyperbole can befittingly describe, for, it is an experience that is transcendent above all things earthly. When one searches to have a holy unification with the Lord, when they utter, "I love God," they are seized by the ethereal clasp of the Divine. And it is good. Sometimes that celestial grip is so wonderfully strong, what emanates from the soul into the sanctified cup is overflowing, leaving copious amounts of blessed spillage. But 'spillage' is often deemed as a mess, the useless and unwanted remnants of our material gains, the wastes of humanity, the 'useless eaters' of society whom the public (myself included) at large, without flinching, tenaciously, soullessly, ignore. But in the case of Saint Therese of Lisieux, her spillage, quite simply, are her very words, loving pledges and unnterances that resound with unadulterated esoteric wisdom that is normally relegated to those who have lived well beyond their years. And even in old age-through a conscientious process of living and observing-it is very doubtful that one could possibly have attained, achieved the indefinate caliber of grace, purity and intelligence that she was obviously endowed with. Her words remind one and all that in the ugly there is beauty, in the hopelessness, there is hope, in the gravity, there is grace, in the challanged (mentally, physically), there is profound depth and courage, but it all derives from a glowing source: God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit. Her words teach, for she herself says on page 124: "...any small good deed I do can be mistaken for a fault, the mistake of calling a fault a virtue can be made just as easily. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars something to change your life April 24 2002
This book... well, read it and it really will change your life. This little saint, who lived a remarkable little life, has left those struggling on earth with their daily lives and routines, her little way of getting "UNDER" them. St. Therese shows us the value of living a simple, childlike life. She compares herself to "being a ball in the hands of the infant Jesus" or being a "little flower" (hence her nickname). This little book shows the value and importance of living a good and holy family life as well. St. Therese was one of nine children (three having proceeded her in death), she and her five remaining sisters, who helped in bringing her up after her mother's death from breast cancer, all had vocations to the religious life. She wrote her memoirs on her death bed before dying from tuberculosos at the age of twenty-five. When you read about the saint's death, her interior and physical trials, you go way realizing that there are so many worse things than suffering. . The Story Of A Soul leaves one with the realization that the quickest way to heaven is the smallest way. "Perfection consists in doing his will, in being what He wills us to be." I have read this book about five times and every time I read it, I learn something new. If you never read another spiritual book, at least say that you have read this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Delightful March 18 2002
I first heard about St. Therese when reading Merton's Seven Storey Mountain. It seems Merton was simply overjoyed at discovering this saint, this little flower of God's love.
Two years later, I've finally managed to investigate what Merton thought so important. Having read this autobiography, I can say that Merton was no dummy. Have you ever read a story and just walked away from it happy and not knowing what about it made you so happy? That is the feeling I got when I read this the "Little Flower's" account of her own life.
In short, words cannot accurately reflect how I feel about this book. This girl, this saint of the Church, was just so loving, so joyful in being alive, so happy to be in love with God, that she will rub off on every person who reads this book.
This is the first book in a long time that, as soon as I finished reading it, I wanted to read it again. I hope it does the same for you. I have a sneaking suspicion that it will be even better the second time around.
And so, I take great joy in recommending this book. I can only hope that it impacts you as much as it did me.
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