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

4.37 of 5 stars 4.37  ·  rating details  ·  5,604 ratings  ·  289 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.
Paperback, Third Edition, 306 pages
Published January 19th 1996 by I C S Publications, Institute of Carmelite St (first published 1896)
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Catechism of the Catholic Church by The Catholic ChurchStory of a Soul by Thérèse de LisieuxThe Confessions by Augustine of HippoJesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVIDark Night of the Soul by John of the Cross
Roman Catholic Reading
2nd out of 288 books — 145 voters
Catechism of the Catholic Church by The Catholic ChurchThe Holy Bible by AnonymousStory of a Soul by Thérèse de LisieuxThe Imitation of Christ by Thomas à KempisGod Is Love by Pope Benedict XVI
Catholic Must Reads
3rd out of 116 books — 40 voters

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Community Reviews

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Sep 14, 2011 booklady rated it 5 of 5 stars
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...more
Dec 04, 2013 Leslie rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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...more
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...more
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...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...more
Apr 23, 2014 Wayne added it
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...more
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...more
Apr 09, 2009 Emma rated it 1 of 5 stars
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.

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
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...more
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
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
My initial perception of St. Therese was skewed; saw her as kind of a "goody-two shoes" who had little problem being holy because she entered a convent at 15-years of age, following in the footsteps of all her older sisters. Her motivation for entering, however, was not to be close to her sisters -- actual the rules at the Carmel prohibited any kind of sisterly chit-chat. Life was hard, very hard, and Therese is honest about her internal struggles and her physical pain. There's a tremendous banq...more
Cara Ruegg
So I loved this. St. Therese is just such a gentle, kindhearted soul. One of my favorite saints, and mind you a very good writer. It was an easy read for the most part, but full of profound wisdom, and beautiful imagery. Her portrayal of her life was so well done, and so engrossing, I devoured the book rather quickly.

I recommend this book to anyone, and everyone, even those who aren't Catholic/Christian, mainly b/c it is such a good book. Anybody would enjoy it.

Favorite quote: "Jesus, you are...more
Cathy Frazier
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...more
Rebecca Haughey
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.
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...more
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
Carlos Torres
It's impossible to read this and not have an emotional reaction to what you're reading. What an amazing woman! She is the perfect example that being great really means being little. Simplicity in the way she approached life and the size of her heart is what makes Little Therese stand out. Don't just read this; let it transform your life!
This short autobiography of a simple saint, St. Therese of Lisieux, gives hope to us all. She has shown us that we don't have to accomplish great things to be loved by God. She is the saint of "little things". Millions of copies of this book have been printed and spread across the world. It has been translated into more than 50 languages.
Is it sacrileges for me to say that I really did not like this book at all? I really didn't get anything out of it. I don't even know what to say in this review about it, except that I don't recommend reading it. I'm giving it 2 stars instead of 1 so I don't upset the spirit of Therese of Lisieux.
Pater Edmund
St. Pius X once said (in conversation) that St. Therese of Lisieux was "the greatest Saint of modern times." One wonders is meant by "modern times." I suppose most readers of the Story of a Soul would agree that one could take it to mean "since the death of the last Apostle."
I read this book after finding it under my brother's bed after he died (too young) of a heart ailment. I was so glad that he had a friend in St. Therese to walk with him into heaven.
St. Therese of Lisieux was a French nun who was born in a village in Normandy, died in a Carmelite convent only a few miles from where she was born, and lived to be only 24 years old. St. Therese did not attend college in her life, yet she is a Doctor of the Catholic Church. She only left France once in her life, and that was to go to Rome on pilgrimage when she was 15 years old, yet she is one of the patron saints of missions. We have no indication that she spoke any language in her life other...more
Sep 17, 2013 Mattye rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Mattye by: Jonathan
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.
Katie Westendorf
St. Therese is one of the best role-models ever! Read her story.
Yooinn Hong
Was a good litmus test of my progress in holiness.
She's an extremely popular modern-day Catholic saint, but I didn't really get her at first. Back then, I was a budding Christian looking to do grand, tangible things for God. I was uncomfortable at her "little" sacrifices and secretly pain-seeking spirituality, all done in a reclusive convent. I was like.. "But it doesn't make any difference to the world?"
And then, I recently got immersed by Carmelite spirituality(Teresa of Avila, John of the Cr...more
Kevin Finelli
(For this review, I read St. Thérèse's autobiography, but I skipped the additional material in my edition, including some letters from St. Thérèse and collected stories and sayings from her contemporaries.)

Overall, I enjoyed the book and found it inspiring, but I think it may have been over-promised from the various blogs and discussions I have read, and I felt a bit underwhelmed. Part of this may be that, as coming from a Protestant background, a lot of the Roman Catholic connections just didn'...more
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Thérèse de Lisieux (2 January 1873 – 30 September 1897), 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, beca...more
More about Thérèse de Lisieux...
St. Therese of Lisieux: Her Last Conversations The Thoughts of Saint Therese The Letters of St. Therese of Lisieux, Vol. I:  1877-1890 The Poetry of Saint Therese of Lisieux (Critical Edition of the Complete Works of Saint Therese of Lisieux) (Centenary Edition 1873-1973) The Little Way for Every Day: Thoughts from Therese of 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.” 26 likes
“And it is the Lord, it is Jesus, Who is my judge. Therefore I will try always to think leniently of others, that He may judge me leniently, or rather not at all, since He says: "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged.” 21 likes
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