In Thérèse’s bedroom, on the second floor of the house, one can stand in the spot where a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary smiled at Thérèse and she experienced a miraculous healing on May 13, 1883.
Thérèse recounted the event in “Story of Soul”: “I turned to my Heavenly Mother, begging her from the bottom of my heart to have pity on me. Suddenly the statue seemed to come to life and grow beautiful, with a divine beauty that I shall never find words to describe. The expression of Our Lady’s face was ineffably sweet, tender, and compassionate, but what touched me to the very depths of my soul was her gracious smile.”
With the grace of the smile from the Blessed Virgin, Thérèse was cured. The white Marian statue currently in Thérèse’s bedroom is a copy of the original, which can be found above the shrine in the Carmelite chapel in Lisieux.
Hanging on the wall in the bedroom is St. Thérèse’s real hair, cut before she entered Carmel.
The dining room contains the original kitchen table and chairs where the Martin family would gather for their daily meals. The clock on the wall is signed “Louis Martin” by Thérèse’s father, who was both a jeweler and a clockmaker.
Sister Veronique’s favorite story from the life of St. Thérèse took place near the fireplace where Thérèse received a “Christmas grace” of complete conversion at the age of 14 in 1886.
The Little Flower wrote: “I knew that when we reached home after Midnight Mass I should find my shoes in the chimney-corner, filled with presents, just as when I was a little child, which proves that my sisters still treated me as a baby.”
However, Thérèse overheard her father complaining that she was too old to behave like such a little child. Though greatly upset, she did not cry, as she would have before.
“Choking back my tears, I ran down to the dining-room, and, though my heart beat fast, I picked up my shoes, and gaily pulled out all the things, looking as happy as a queen.”
Thérèse pinpointed this moment as the time that she “regained, once for all, the strength of mind which she had lost at the age of four and a half.”
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Less than two years later, Thérèse left the childhood home where she had spent 11 years of her life and entered the Carmel, where she remained until her death from tuberculosis at 24 years of age on Sept. 30, 1897. Her house has been a place of pilgrimage since 1913.
“My mission — to make God loved — will begin after my death,” she said before she died. “I will spend my heaven doing good on earth. I will let fall a shower of roses.”
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