Letters to and from St. Thérèse of Lisieux from April 1877 (Childhood) to September 1890 (Novitiate period as a Carmelite Nun). Translated from the critical edition by John Clarke, OCD.
Letter writing at the end of the nineteenth century was an important activity for the people of France. Those who received letters from family and friends alike usually kept the hand-written texts sent to them as precious gifts. That is why this collection of letters by and to one of the greatest saints of modern times is so interesting to us today. No mere notes slapped together in distracted haste, the missives found in this volume reveal communications of warm personal sentiment along with expressions of lively spiritual development.
Thérèse's efforts as a fifteen-year-old to enter Carmel before reaching the required age appear in revealing detail. This "tortuous course of a very subtle diplomacy" is set out not only by the letters of Thérèse herself, but also by those of so many others who shared her hopes and eventual victory.
The translator-editor gives us 75 pages of introductory remarks to Thérèse's letters. This volume also includes 4 pages of facsimiles of Thérèse's letters.