The Story of a Soul, better known to the English public as The Autobiography of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, was first published in 1899. Today it ranks amongst the greatest Christian spiritual classics and it has been translated into practically every well-known language. Almost every pope since its publication has proposed St. Thérèse’s teaching to the faithful for their imitation—Pius XI declared her the greatest saint of our age and John Paul II made her a Doctor of the Church.
The Story of a Soul possesses in some degree a characteristic common both to the Gospels and The Imitation of Christ. Men and women open the book, often quite casually, and are caught by the vivid clarity or simple profundity of some sentence in such a way that their lives are completely changed. The style of St. Thérèse is extremely simple and spontaneous, having a charm that is hard to describe, especially when she rises to poetic heights. The final chapter, written for her eldest sister Marie, is simply a childlike outpouring of her heart to Jesus Himself. This spiritual classic will speak gently to your heart.
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
St. Thérèse of Lisieux, also known as "Thérèse of the Child Jesus" and "The Little Flower", was the last of nine children born to Louis and Zelie Martin, at Alençon, France in 1873. She was often anxious and depressed in childhood, as she suffered the early death of her mother. After she converted interiorly and began to read Thomas à Kempis' The Imitation of Christ, she joined two of her sisters in a discalced Carmelite convent as a nun at just 15 years old. After her oldest sister was elected prioress, Thérèse became a permanent novice to allay suspicions that her family was dominating the small community. She lived humbly, concealing her intense prayer life and countless sacrifices
Thérèse is the author of her own popular autobiography entitled The Story of a Soul, which she began writing in 1895, and she instituted a simple path to holiness now widely known as the "Little Way". She died of tuberculosis on September 30, 1897, at the age of 24 and was canonized only 28 years later, in 1925, by Pope Pius XI. She was later installed as the thirty-third Doctor of the Church by Pope John Paul II in 1997.