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Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux

4.38  ·  Rating Details ·  8,708 Ratings  ·  444 Reviews
This book, first published in 1898 in a highly edited version, quickly became a modern spiritual classic, read by millions and translated into over fifty-five languages. John Clarke's acclaimed translation, first published in 1975, is now accepted as the standard throughout the English-speaking world.
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Published (first published September 30th 1898)
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Oct 02, 2007 booklady rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: my daughters
Recommended to booklady by: Sacred Heart sisters
I can't remember the first time I read this but I think it was in high school. Dear St. Thérèse was my Confirmation saint so I wanted to read her autobiography. I remember being blown away by her simple and yet powerful approach to sanctity. It IS the Gospel -- so gentle, humble, meek and Christian -- and not even difficult in a way except that I kept forgetting to live it!

Then as I got older, I confess I sort of forgot about this book and my patron saint. I even came to think that she was too
Webster Bull
May 23, 2015 Webster Bull rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faith
Therese puts so many questions to the ordinary, meat-and-potatoes Catholic, i.e. me. How much do I believe "this stuff"? How much am I willing to give for what I believe about it? Therese believed it all and gave everything. In fact, one of her famous sayings was "I take all." And yet she did nothing heroic and would not even be known if her biological sister and Mother Superior (the same person) had not ordered her to write down the "story of her soul" in the two years before she died of tuberc ...more
Sep 05, 2011 Leslie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Seekers
Recommended to Leslie by: Mother Therea
Well this book has been such an emotional experience for me. I guess I have now come full circle from my early childhood version of God ( magical nice fatherly fellow who granted wishes and protection from evil) to my early adulthood ( and also completely wrong notion of) God ( angry father who didn't love me, but seemed to reward evildoers) to my later notion of their not being a God at all. That was the only way I could explain the horrors of the modern world, the evils I learned of on the nig ...more
♥ Ibrahim ♥
I have always heard of her and didn't know what to make of her. I read quotes here and there and didn't catch my attention much. Since I have begun reading her autobiography, I have been completely absorbed and taken by every words she writes and I feel like she is sitting in front of me like a bosom friend telling me her story in all purity, in all simplicity, in an extremely natural manner. Sometimes you read the Saints and you end up feeling they are way up there but not so with our beloved T ...more
Apr 29, 2011 Someone rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
القديسة تريزا ليسوع الطفل

St. Theresa of the Child Jesus


سأنحي مسألة إختلاف الدين جانبًا، فهذا الكتاب من أفضل كتب السيرة الذاتية التي قرأتها من قبل، أحببته للغاية ومازالت (قدّيستي) تريزا في البال إثر إنتهائي منه خلال الأسبوع الماضي إلى الآن، هنا مقالة مطولة عنها اختصرها صاحب المقال من كتابنا هذا، وهي تغني كثيرًا عن التمهيد لها ..

وقصتها مفعمة بالإيمان والبراءة والبساطة والتأمل والجمال النفسي وكل خصائص النفس الطيبة الوادعة، وكل ذلك جاء في سيرتها في أعلى درجات
Sep 14, 2008 Wanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sweet story!

I didn't like the book as well as I thought I would, though. I think I just can't relate to someone as doted on as Therese was. I kept thinking what a wuss she was and then feeling bad that I thought such a thing about someone who became a saint! I'll admit that in the end she was not a wuss at all.

The best thing I got out of the book is that God gives everyone the ability to be a saint in his/her own way, and doesn't expect anyone to be a saint in the way that anyone else did. W
Webster Bull
* A must-read for Christians, Catholics in particular, though you might need two readings. At least. *

From my first days as a Catholic convert-in-training in 2007, I heard tell of Therese of Lisieux, the 19th-century French girl who entered a Carmelite convent at 15 and died of TB at 24. The third of three female Doctors of the Church. The greatest modern saint. An inspiration to millions. And so on.

But it was hard to restrain my skepticism when I first read her spiritual autobiography, "The St
Mar 11, 2010 Pat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am torn in my reaction to this book. With all of our knowledge of psychiatric illnesses today, we would probably medicate Therese and send her to therapy due to her hallucinations, visions and, at least from the tone of Manuscript A, her self-absorption. I only became interested in the book and St. Therese when I started reading Manuscript B which is almost 2/3 of the way through the book. Manuscript C and the Epilogue were the sections that really moved me and brought home the true scope of h ...more
Nicola Mansfield
Reason for Reading: Our church has been run by the Carmelites for over 100 years. Our priests are Carmelites and we have a statutory of St. Therese in the building. I was much intrigued about her "little way' and after watching the recent 2004 movie about her life was ready to read her autobiography.

In truth, the book is really not an autobiography but more of a snippet of memoirs. It is divided into three pieces, the first, being the longest, was commissioned by her Mother Superior who also hap
Feb 10, 2012 Marne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to confess, that this was the most difficult book to read that I have read in a long while. It doesn't usually take me several days to finish a book of only 241 pages, even taking into account that I don't have a great deal of time to read every day.

Overall, it was a worthwhile read. I found her experiences, her outlook, her very nature to be almost completely foreign to me. For a while, I read almost in disbelief, thinking to myself that nobody could possibly be this humble, or rejoice
Christian Engler
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 ...more
Sep 06, 2011 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a non-Catholic, I was very interested in this autobiography and writings of Saint Therese of Lisieux, the young Catholic nun who lived in the late 1800's and died at age 24.

The variations of her thoughts were fascinating to me. Things such as "I am most thankful to Our Lord that He let me find only bitterness in earthly friendships." and how she looked forward to her death and being with her Lord and spouse, "That day everything was little except the graces received - except my peace and joy
Nov 04, 2008 Wayne added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ?????
Recommended to Wayne by: my older sister Dianne
I first read this book as a young monk.
And then EVERYTHING about her I could lay my hands on!!!
Later as a Retired Catholic I visited Lisieux and the convent where Therese lived and died.
Revisiting this book after so many years fills me with curiosity and is something I'd like to do before the lights go out.I am interested in my response, now, when I have done some 180 degree turns in some areas of my life.
I hesitate to award any star rating yet - not fair to me or the book.

But I do recall two
Sep 22, 2012 Cathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Began reading this book a little begrudgingly as St. Therese of Lisieux just never really appealed to me. My opinion was that she was spoiled and had an easy life, so what would she have to offer me?

Well, this is one of my favorite books. The first few chapters I had to drag myself through, after that it was smooth sailing. She had such a practical and 'easy' outlook on life and holiness, very much like St. Josemaria Escriva - that it's through the small, every day events in our lives that we ca
Mar 26, 2009 Emma rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
I am not finishing this book. Now that I have switched English classes, I do not plan on reading this again. As you an see, my feelings for this book have not changed. Everyone says how they admire Thérése so much. I just don't get it. She is extremely full of herself, and she is always crying at every little thing. She seems really spoiled, and it drives me crazy. Even when she says that she "did it for Jesus" she is still obsessed with herself. I just don't know what people like about her.

Nov 03, 2014 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
Inspiring and thoughtful. My favorite passages:
"Only the day of the first, the only, the eternal Communion in heaven will be without a sunset!" (p. 79)
"Life is your ship and not your dwelling." (p. 92)
"Oh! Beloved Mother, how these beauties of nature spread out in profusion did good to my soul! How they lifted it up toward the One who was pleased to toss such masterpieces onto a land of exile that must last only a day..." (p. 137-8)
"That beautiful day passed, just as the saddest ones do, si
Jul 21, 2012 Sean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a most helpful book in rediscovering the joy and simplicity of a love-relationship with your higher power. I actually have a little miracle story from this little saint: It was recommended to me on Amazon to read this book and I meant to have read her but never got to it. I ordered it online and it never came, I thought it was a mistake with the processing. A few days later at work I found a copy of this book in my boss' golf cart. He said a sister had left it behind and I cou ...more
Patrick Costello
Dec 27, 2012 Patrick Costello rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: seven-stars
I had always heard about St. Therese but never knew much about her. So the spring of my sophomore year I finally picked up her "Story of a Soul." I remember secretly reading this book during lecture in differential equations; I felt such peace and confidence in the way she described God's love and grace. This is a love story--the love story between a young soul and the God who made her. In this story you will discover her shortcut to heaven, the "little way of spiritual childhood." This Doctor o ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
St. Therese of Lisieux is one of the most beloved Catholic saints. So what is her story? And why are so many devoted to her?

St. Therese was born to parents who deeply loved the church. Their children were raised in that atmosphere, so it is no surprise that several became nuns, including Therese.

Therese wrote down the story of her life in this little book. In it, the reader gets a feel for the astonishing character that was Therese. She seemed to live her faith every minute of the day. Simply.
Jan 06, 2011 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite devotional reads. Ever. I may be a bit biased because she's my Confirmation saint, but I love St. Therese. This book completely changed my views about the importance of a prayerful life. Her simple way of showing love to God is inspiring and humbling. A beautiful reminder of the potential for sainthood in all of us. I need to pick it up and reread it soon. Recommend to both Catholics and non-Catholics looking for a spiritual-type book.
Sep 17, 2013 Mattye rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mattye by: Thomas
Shelves: finished-reading
A most profound and amazing read! I am forever transformed by this humbling experience. It is no wonder that she is a Doctor of the Church.
Dec 12, 2014 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I take personal retreats regularly at a center named after Saint Therese. So it seemed only right that at some point I should read her autobiography.

It is personal narrative with a single thread throughout: Therese's intense love for Jesus that was a consequence of her great confidence that she was greatly loved by Jesus. It is this love, even more than the fact that two of her sisters had preceded her in entering the monastery, that moved her from an early age to long to be "wed" to Christ.

Jun 28, 2016 Karina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a Study Edition prepared by Marc Foley (published by ICS). In some of his reflections on the text he draws on from other literary sources that I don't know, so it's a little odd at times. But it is very good.

We are now in Chapter 8, and I liked the reflection Marc had on the two images of God that Therese uses. 1) When Therese experiences aridity in prayer, she talks about Jesus sleeping in the boat. He's still there, even though it doesn't feel that way. He's just sleeping. Therese let
Dec 11, 2012 Alice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First things first, I'm not Catholic and I'm a missionary.

As the patron saint of missionaries, St Therese's way of following Jesus is profoundly humbling. A nun who never left her village, entered the convent at 15 and died at the young age of 24, she nevertheless had a burning passion to pray for the lost and missionary priests. But more than that, St Therese believe that she could never accomplish great spiritual or missionary tasks, but that the path of holiness could be taken in everyday, o
Jun 16, 2015 Phil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
I've been slow to read this book and to review it. Given that many of the devotional writers I read have recommended it, that should be surprise, but St. Therese of Liseaux has a reputation of being a bit saccarine. She is, mind you, in a kind of 19th century pious kind of way, but, underneath all that, is a thoughtful consideration of how faith is developed and the obstacles which one needs to overcome- a majority of which tend to be almost entirely in our heads.

For those who may not have run
Daniel Swanger
Dec 12, 2015 Daniel Swanger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone as seeker
Recommended to Daniel by: Jean Raia, advertising co-worker 1980
I read the Dover edition in translation by Michael Day, with forward by Rt. Rev. Mgr. Vernon Johnson. This new theology, by a new Doctor of the Church since 1997, can compete with other Doctors of the Church: St Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas, by here giving a Little Way of Holiness accessible to all! As when a fellow nun annoyed all the others by clanking her rosary beads, little Therese went out of her way to be kind to her. Her final illness and death at a young age, from tuberculosis, only ...more
Jul 21, 2013 Desclian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very, very interesting auto-biography. I came to this book knowing very little about Saint Therese and felt, at first, very distanced from her experiences and her faith. I thought that her fervor and her reliance on love and innocence was beautiful but was something that I did not see in my own life, and thus I began reading this book very much academically. But there are many sides to this text and towards the end (particularly after she became a nun) I found myself being drawn more and more ...more
Jane Lebak
Oct 19, 2013 Jane Lebak rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book itself is amazing.

The translation of this book is pretty...well, I found places where it was off. On page 220/221 the translator has no clue what she means by the Church Militant, the Church Suffering and the Church Triumphant, so he helpfully adds in [brackets] what he thinks she means. Except he's wrong. Yes, the Church Triumphant means Heaven. But the translator edits in that the Church Suffering is the Christians who are still alive (wrong: it's the souls in Purgatory) and that the
Mar 08, 2014 Isabel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This amazing book, more than any other, helped me renew my faith. In this book, the future St. Therese recounts her life as a young child and, later on, as a nun and all the simple sacrifices she made for love of the Lord. In one vignette, she describes how she used to hate washing dishes at the convent, but came to love being splashed by another sister who would help her wash the dishes. Why? Because she would offer up these little sufferings for her prayer intentions. This way of praying becam ...more
I'm not a religious person, not in the slightest, but I was inspired to read this book after it was mentioned in The Happiness Project. At first, I was a little put off by the constant mentions of Jesus -- I suppose I should have seen that coming given the nature of the book. But, after a few pages, it didn't phase me anymore. In fact, her complete unwavering love for God is moving. Her views on charity and selflessness are uplifting. She stresses the importance of small deeds and that one does ...more
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Saint Thérèse de Lisieux or Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, born Marie-Françoise-Thérèse Martin, was a French Carmelite nun. She is also known as "The Little Flower of Jesus". She was canonized by the Roman Catholic Church May 17, 1925.

She felt an early call to religious life, and overcoming various obstacles, in 1888 at the early age of 15, became a nun and joined two of her o
More about Thérèse de Lisieux...

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“I know now that true charity consists in bearing all our neighbors'defects--not being surprised at their weakness, but edified at their smallest virtues.” 42 likes
“God would never inspire me with desires which cannot be realized; so in spite of my littleness, I can hope to be a saint.” 41 likes
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