St. Thérèse Martin and her sisters grew up in a home atmosphere of deep devotion to Our Lord and His saints. Devotions, penances, and pilgrimages were important to them.
Shortly before Thérèse entered Carmel, the Martin family made a pilgrimage to Rome. (This was the same trip on which Thérèse cast herself at the feet of an astonished Pope Leo XIII to ask permission to enter Carmel!)
During their Rome pilgrimage, Thérèse’s group made a visit to the Colosseum. Thérèse and her sister Celine were thrilled—they wanted to kneel and pray on the sand that had received the blood of so many holy martyrs.
However…when they entered the famous, hallowed building, they found that the main portion of the arena was roped off.
That didn’t stop the two Martin girls! The group followed their guide around the public areas—while Thérèse and Celine slipped under the ropes and ran into the arena.
Kneeling on the arena floor, they prayed to the holy martyrs, gathered some gravel as relics, and ran back to their father. No one else had noticed their brief disappearance, but St. Louis probably gave his daughters a loving, piercing look!
Want to know more about this spunky saint? Rediscover Thérèse of Lisieux in Fr. Didier-Marie Golay’s St. Therese of Lisieux: Living on Love, which tells her story in loving detail, complete with over 150 stunning photographs. With in-depth information and plentiful sidebars on history, geography, and themes relating to her life, this gorgeous work brings you into St. Thérèse’s world like never before—and helps you enter more deeply into her “Little Way.” Available today at The Catholic Company!