Thérèse of the Infant Jesus, a Carmelite nun, lived in France in the 19th century. She became famous because of her autobiographical writings which revealed the life of holiness of a simple woman, full of energy, in a closed, contemplative Carmelite convent. Her autobiography became a source of inspiration to many Catholics.

Thérèse was born with the name Marie-Francoise Thérèse Martin to pious Catholic parents in 1873. Both her parents, who have also been recognized as models of holy life by the Catholic Church, tried to enter convents before their marriage. Thérèse was the youngest of their five daughters who survived into adulthood.


After the entry of two of her sisters into the Carmelite convent, Thérèse also tried to be accepted at the age of 15. Due to her young age she needed special permission from the Church authorities. In a closed, contemplative convent where life is routine – long prayers and manual labor – Thérèse developed her spiritual path. She decided that the path to holiness could not be in great acts that characterize the heroes of the history of salvation, but rather in good deeds in daily life. She wrote:

"Love proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? Great deeds are forbidden me. The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions for love." She became known after her death as "the Little Flower".

Thérèse was very ill at the end of her short life and died in 1897. Through her autobiography she became known to the world and in a very short time, already in 1925,  she was recognized by the Church as a saint. In 1997, Pope John Paul II recognized her as a "doctor" of the Church, a teacher of faith.

Her autobiography has been republished many times under the title of "The Story of a Soul" and has been translated into Hebrew.