I recently learned that St. Therese of Lisieux had a devotion to St. Joan of Arc that only grew in intensity near the end of her life because Therese felt that, just like that brave young woman who was martyred for her faith, she, Therese, was suffering through no fault of her own in torment in her little cell. She thought of Joan in her prisoner’s cell, charged with and convicted of heresy, abandoned in the squalor of a prison she did not deserve. And Therese could relate.

Early on, while Joan’s cause for canonization was in the forefront of the culture in France, the girl Therese was very taken with Joan’s patriotism and bravery.

In her own short life, Therese felt the Lord had destined her for great things. And though Joan was able to display her bravery and die for her faith in this world, with Heaven as her final goal, regardless of what Therese endured here, she felt that her deeds would begin in their fullness after she was born to eternal life. And that is how it happened.

Both young women were French and both are now considered patronesses of that country; after the Blessed Mother they both are so revered. I invite you to click on the link above to read a beautiful account of the Little Flower’s commitment to her Lord, her trust that He would take care of her as she persevered to the end in love and kindness, regardless of her own dire situation. May both women be models of faith for us all, especially for girls and young women encountering challenges in their lives.

May we all come to understand that suffering is not necessarily something to be avoided. And that many times our desire to avoid or relieve suffering leads us to very dire circumstances that are even more painful, emotionally and physically, than the original pain we sought to alleviate. Just a thought this day.

Remember dear daughters of the King that you are each fearfully and wonderfully made. And God loved you into being here and He will never abandon you.

Peace & grace to you!

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