Mount Carmel is home to the Canadian National Shrine to Saint Therese.
The Monastery has both an indoor and outdoor shrine for St.Therese. The Indoor shrine is located inside the chapel and may be visited during chapel hours Mon-Sun 9am to 5pm.
The outdoor shrine is located on the grounds in the grotto and is accessible year round.
Group pilgrimages to the Monastery to celebrate St. Therese can be arranged by calling the Centre Office (905) 356-4113, x4200.
Mass is celebrated at 11:15 am, Monday to Friday in the Shrine Chapel.
St. Therese, "the little flower".
Therese Martin was the last of nine children born to Louis and Zelie Martin on January 2, 1873, in Alencon, France. However, only five of these children lived to reach adulthood. Precocious and sensitive, Therese needed much attention. Her mother died when she was 4 years old. As a result, her father and sisters babied young Therese. She had a spirit that wanted everything.At the age of 14, on Christmas Eve in 1886, Therese had a conversion that transformed her life. From then on, her powerful energy and sensitive spirit were turned toward love, instead of keeping herself happy. At 15, she entered the Carmelite convent in Lisieux to give her whole life to God. She took the religious name Sister Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. Living a hidden, simple life of prayer, she was gifted with great intimacy with God. Through sickness and dark nights of doubt and fear, she remained faithful to God, rooted in His merciful love. After a long struggle with tuberculosis, she died on September 30, 1897, at the age of 24. Her last words were the story of her life: "My God, I love You!"The world came to know Therese through her autobiography, "Story of a Soul". She described her life as a "little way of spiritual childhood." She lived each day with an unshakable confidence in God's love. "What matters in life," she wrote, "is not great deeds, but great love." Therese lived and taught a spirituality of attending to everyone and everything well and with love. She believed that just as a child becomes enamored with what is before her, we should also have a childlike focus and totally attentive love. Therese's spirituality is of doing the ordinary, with extraordinary love.
Saint Therese of Lisieux
Who Is Saint Therese
Just six years after the cause for sainthood of Sister Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face was introduced in Rome, the Carmelites in Chicago conducted the first Little Flower Novena service at St. Cyril Church. This was in 1912.Eventually, St. Clara Church on Woodlawn Avenue in Chicago became the National Shrine of St. Therese. It was just one of the places where the amazing "popular canonization" of St. Therese took place. Inspired by the devotion of people in Chicago, Carmelites spread out through the United States and Canada, telling the story of this remarkable young saint who captured so many hearts so quickly. At the canonization in 1925, Pope Pius XI described the Little Flower's rise to sainthood as a "storm of glory".Perhaps the greatest apostle of St. Therese in the new world was Fr. Albert Dolan, O. Carm. A gifted preacher and prolific writer, he introduced the Little Flower to millions. To insure that his work would continue, he founded the Society of the Little Flower in 1923.Over Seventy-five years later it has become the largest organization in the world promoting devotion to St. Therese and teaching her "little way of spiritual childhood". The message of St. Therese's life is timeless. She is a powerful messenger of God's love to the modern world.There are now more than 500,000 active friends of the Society of the Little Flower throughout the world. They take great pride and joy in their devotion because she has touched their lives many times with her "shower of roses". She continually leads them to discover God's love in their lives. This is why they try to imitate her "little way" each day and spread her devotion. Devotees of Therese share a closeness with her that is truly inspiring.Society of the Little Flower is a community of faith and prayer. Six times each year friends join in novenas of Masses honoring St. Therese and asking her intercession. Friends share a love for her "little way" which they will try to live each day.The principal charitable work of the Society is aiding Carmelite seminarians. Hundreds of young men are priests and religious because of the generosity of the friends of the Society. These Carmelite brothers of the Little Flower are touching many hearts and lives with Christ's love.
Therese saw the seasons as reflecting the seasons of God's love affair with us.She loved flowers and saw herself as the "little flower of Jesus," who gave glory to God by just being her beautiful little self among all the other flowers in God's garden. Because of this beautiful analogy, the title "little flower" remained with St. Therese.
Her inspiration and powerful presence from heaven touched many people very quickly. She was canonized by Pope Pius XI on May 17, 1925. Had she lived, she would have been only 52 years old when she was declared a Saint.
"My mission - to make God loved - will begin after my death," she said. "I will spend my heaven doing good on earth. I will let fall a shower of roses." Roses have been described and experienced as Saint Therese's signature. Countless millions have been touched by her intercession and imitate her "little way." She has been acclaimed "the greatest saint of modern times." In 1997, Pope John Paul II declared St. Therese a Doctor of the Church - the only Doctor of his pontificate - in tribute to the powerful way her spirituality has influenced people all over the world.
The message of St. Therese is beautiful, inspiring, and simple.