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Her Writings
Manuscripts,and prayers

Story of a soul

The 20th of October 1898, Mother Agnes of Jesus and Mother Marie de Gonzague, had been working on a project, to publish an exceptionally long obituary (476 pages !) to be sent to all the Carmels in France. The surplus copies were sold off (print run : 2 000 copies ; price : 4 francs).

In fact, Mother Agnes had put together her little sister’s manuscripts (which were later called A, B and C) which had been written « under obedience, » corrected the (frequent) spelling mistakes, brought paragraphs together, removed some paragraphs, and divided the works into chapters. Of the three addressees only one remained : Mother Marie de Gonzague. In accordance with her request, it was completed with Thérèse’s poems and some letters. The Carmel feared a low price for the book, which was financed without enthusiasm by her generous Guerin uncle. To everyone’s surprise, a second edition was required six months later (4,000 copies) and soon a third . . . It was an explosion. By 1956 there were 40 editions, not to mention the translations which began in 1901. There were more than 50 listed, with figures always being exceeded and uncontrollable as the pirate editions multiplied.

The book was an instrument of conversion, of various cures, and found in all parts of the world. It is the book which pushed the enthusiastic pilgrim to come to pray to the « little saint, » as they say, at her grave in the Lisieux cemetery. Soon, pastoral needs would protect this place from pious vandalism.

It was only in 1956, after the death of Mother Agnes, who had practically rewritten her sister’s texts, that Pius XII ordered a return to the original manuscripts and the three texts of Thérèse were published.

The critical edition - an exact copy - completed by the Carmelite priest François de Sainte Marie (who died in 1961), with the help of the Carmelite nuns in Lisieux, was a considerable achievement. Finally, the real Thérèse appeared « stripped, » not sweetened.

From 1969, a team took up the task and continued the critical edition of 266 known letters, 54 poems (1979), 8 plays (1985), 21 prayers (1988) and the Final Conversations (1971).

This work (1969-1988), which received the Cardinal Grente Grand Prize from the Académie Française in 1989, was to eventually lead to the New Centenary Edition, in eight volumes (CerfDDB).

The whole work was gathered into one volume - Completed Works (CerfDDB) - running to 1,600 pages of bible paper. The collection was presented to John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger on February 18, 1993.

Marie dies at the Lisieux Carmelite Convent at the age of 80

Prayers Daily offering
My God, I offer You all the actions of this day in union with the intentions and glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I wish to sanctify each and every heartbeat, every thought, every simple little action, by joining them to His infinite merits ; and I desire to make reparation for my sins by casting them into the furnace of His merciful love.

O my God ! For myself and for all my dear ones, I implore the grace to perfectly fulfill Your holy will and to accept for love of You all the joys and sorrows of this passing life, so that one day we may be united in Heaven for all eternity. Amen

Act of oblation to merciful love
O My God ! Most Blessed Trinity, I desire to Love you and make you Loved, to work for the glory of Holy Church by saving souls on earth and liberating those suffering in purgatory. I desire to accomplish your will perfectly and to reach the degree of glory you have prepared for me in your kingdom. I desire, in a word, to be a Saint, but I feel my helplessness and I beg you, O my God ! to be yourself my Sanctity !

Since You loved me so much as to give me your only Son as my Savior and my Spouse, the infinite treasures of his merits are mine. I offer them to you with gladness, begging you to look on me only through the Face of Jesus and in his Heart burning with Love.

I offer you, too, all the merits of the Saints (in Heaven and on earth), their acts of Love, and those of the Holy Angels. Finally, I offer you, O Blessed Trinity ! the Love and merits of the Blessed Virgin, my dear Mother. It is to her I abandon my offering, begging her to present it to you. Her Divine Son, my Beloved Spouse, told us in the days of his mortal life : « Whatsoever you ask the Father in my name he will give it to you ! » I am certain, then, that you will grant my desires ; I know, O my God ! That the more you want to give, the more you make us desire. I feel in my heart immense desires and it is with confidence I ask you to come and take possession of my soul. Ah ! O cannot receive Holy Communion as often as I desire, but, Lord, are you not All-Powerful ? Remain in me as in a tabernacle and never separate yourself from your little host……

I want to console you for the ingratitude of the wicked, and I beg of you to take away my freedom to displease you. If through weakness I sometimes fall, may your Divine Glance cleanse my soul immediately, consuming all my imperfections like the fire that transforms everything into itself……

I thank you, O my God ! for all the graces you have granted me, especially the grace of making me pass through the crucible of suffering. It is with joy I shall contemplate You on the last day carrying the scepter of your Cross. Since you deigned to give me a share in this very precious Cross, I hope in Heaven to resemble you and to see shining in my glorified body the sacred stigmata of Your Passion…

After earth’s exile, I hope to go and enjoy you in the Fatherland, but I do not want to lay up merits for Heaven. I want to work for your Love alone with the one purpose of pleasing you, consoling your Sacred Heart, and saving souls who will love you eternally.

In the evening of this life, I shall appear before you with empty hands, for I do not ask you, Lord, to count my works. All our justice is stained in your eyes. I wish, then, to be clothed in your own Justice and to receive from your Love the eternal possession of Yourself. I want no other Throne, no other Crown but You, my Beloved !……

Time is nothing in your eyes, and a single day is like a thousand years ; you can, then, in one instant prepare me to appear before you…

In order to live in one singlel act of perfect Love, I offer myself as a victim of holocaust to your merciful love, asking you to consume me incessantly, allowing the waves of infinite tenderness shut up within you to overflow into my soul, and that thus I may become a Martyr of your Love, O my God !…

May this martyrdom, after having prepared me to appear before you, finally cause me to die and may my soul take its flight without any delay into the eternal embrace of Your Merciful Love…

I want, O my Beloved, at each beat of my heart to renew this offering to you an infinite number of times, until the shadows having disappeared I may be able to tell you of my Love in an Eternal Face to Face !…

Marie, Françoise, Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face unworthy Carmelite religious

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