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

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  11,695 ratings  ·  629 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 1st 1996 by ICS Publications (first published September 30th 1898)
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W.M.J. Kreucher No, it came up in a homily on the feast of the little flower.

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booklady
Oct 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Leslie
Sep 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Pat
Mar 11, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Leila
A fascinating book written by St Therese herself. Not for everyone but a most interesting book.
Wanda
Sep 14, 2008 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
...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
Mai
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dads-books
Until reading this book, all I’d ever known of St Thérèse was roses. I knew that she was associated with flowers, was known as ‘the little flower’ and was often depicted with a crown or an armful of roses. I’d heard her great promises to send down blessings like a shower of roses after death. From all this, I guess I’d drawn up an image of a soft, sweet saint, permanently transported by her love for Christ. How wrong I was!

Her turn of phrase may be a little quaint or cutesie at times (although i
...more
Jane Lebak
Oct 19, 2013 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
...more
Cathy
Sep 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Christian Engler
Sep 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Sheila
Sep 06, 2011 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
...more
Marne
Feb 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Karina
Jun 28, 2016 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
...more
Therese
I wanted to read a book that had been translated for my Better World Books 2016 Reading Challenge, and since I already had this, I thought I would check it out. After all she has my name, or rather I have hers, and I like little things. Other than that, I really wasted my time.

Therese and her 4 sisters who survived to adulthood all became nuns after an extremely religious, pious, and sheltered upbringing. First I have to say, I'm not a Catholic, and reading this certainly does not sway me in tha
...more
Emma
Mar 26, 2009 rated it did not like it
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.

Ok.
...more
Benjamin
Dec 29, 2018 rated it liked it
I really wanted to like this book, being that St. Therese is one of the well-known modern saints as well as patroness of my home church. However, it's very difficult to relate to St. Therese and you can see pretty quick why she's known as the "Little Flower". What we take for the mundane and small annoyances in life, from dealing with rude people or discomfort in our daily lives, she takes in stride and turns little sufferings into a spiritual practice to be closer to Jesus. After all, many of t ...more
Wayne
Nov 04, 2008 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
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
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.
...more
Brett
Jul 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
I think I would have found the author completely intolerable in real life.
Nadine
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology, religion
well, i found my patron saint.

St. Thérèse of Lisieux/of the Child Jesus.

as a doctor of the Church, Thérèse inspires me with her extremely simplicity, that focuses on only and entirely the Love of God and how it’s enabled her to love Him and learn to love suffering for His sake.

right on time, a week from now i’ll be officially confirmed into the Catholic Church, a pivotal decision in my spirituality but the absolute best one i’ve ever made.

i see why she is so well loved by many. she doesn’t do
...more
Mariangel
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my second reading of St. Therese's book (the first in English, now in French). This edition included, in addition to her autobiography, some of her poems and prayers, and a list of miracles and favors obtained by her intercession, which were not in the English edition.

What a wonderful soul, and how clearly she explains her insights about God's love and mercy, supporting them with quotes from the Bible and from the poems of St. John of the Cross. This is a book worth rereading many times.
Lawrence Jakows
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: saints
A wonderful story from a beautiful saint. She is quoted several times in my book "Jesus: Perfect Love." During her time at the Carmel, she discovers her vocation is: love! Her Little Way, her sacrifices, her devotion to His Holy Face, her complete love of her Lord are just a few of the reasons why this book has been popular for over one hundred years.
Jesús  Erro
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone fighting their pride, seeking humility, simplicity in ordinary life
ENGLISH: The weight of pride prevents us from flying as high as eagles. Self-love affects our life, our relationships with others. You will come to this book if you need to drink from the springs of humility and simplicity. And so, understand what true love is, accept reality, cope with pain and reconcile with real life - sometimes overwhelming and suffocating. Simple souls can free us from the chains of ordinary life and the isolation produced by selfishness.

This book is a Christian classic. Te
...more
Bob
Dec 12, 2014 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.

She
...more
Lidija
Apr 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very different the second time around.
Abby Avery
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: god-stuff
Before I read this book I didn’t particularly like St. Therese because I thought she was too docile and passive to relate to and I was more draw to go-get-em saints like Joan of Arc. Then I read this and now I like St. Therese because she is extremely docile and passive and all along I was wrong because I didn’t understand the holiness of those traits. It’s really powerful to read the actual words of a saint and I made the mistake of ignoring the benefit of asking for her intercession until near ...more
Julie Davis
Feb 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has been mentioned for a long time as one for the Elements of Faith group to tackle. I have high hopes of relating to Therese more than the first time around because I was sent the lovely Paraclete Heritage Edition. For one thing it is a new translation so I'm hoping that some of the sentimentality is toned down a bit. For another, I have always seen Therese's photo in the wimple. The photo featured on the cover of this book has so much more personality. In fact, she looks quite mischi ...more
Bob
Nov 03, 2014 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
...more
Sean
Jul 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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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

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