Saint Therese de Lisieux
Another native of France who found the courage to challenge authority is St. Therese de Lisieux. Even though she was prone to illness and loved her widowed father dearly, she felt called to become a cloistered nun. But the order wouldn’t accept her because of her age.
Determined, she traveled with one of her sisters, her father and the Abbe Reverony of Bayeux to meet Pope Leo XIII. In a letter, she wrote “I didn’t want to return without speaking to the Pope. I spoke, but I did not get it all said because M. Reverony did not give me time. He said immediately: 'Most Holy Father, she is a child who wants to enter Carmel at fifteen, but its superiors are considering the matter at the moment.' I would have liked to be able to explain my case, but there was no way. The Holy Father said to me simply: 'If the good God wills, you will enter.'”
Besides meeting with the Pope, she prayed at many shrines. She was able to enter the Carmel at Lisieux in April 1888, when she was only 15. Although she passed away at the age of 24, she spread joy at the convent, and, after her passing, the beloved saint spread joy and faith throughout the world.