This small town in Normandy celebrates its connection to St. Therese, the Little Flower of Jesus. Born Therese Martin, Therese came to Lisieux as a young girl in 1877. Ten years later she entered the local Carmelite convent, where she died of tuberculosis at the age of 24. Virtually unknown at her death, Therese left behind a memoir, Story of a Soul, that has been translated into more than fifty languages.
Named a Doctor of the Church in 1997, St. Therese is one of the world’s most popular saints. She is most famous for what she termed the “little way” of spirituality, seeking holiness in the ordinary and everyday, trusting like a child in the goodness of divine mercy. In Lisieux pilgrims can visit the Basilica of St. Therese, her childhood home, and the Carmelite convent where her body lies.
Did You Know? In 2008, an astronaut took a relic of St. Therese into space, making her the most well-traveled saint in church history.
Next site: Iona, Scotland
Lori Erickson is one of America’s top travel writers specializing in spiritual journeys. She’s the author of the Near the Exit: Travels With the Not-So-Grim Reaper and Holy Rover: Journeys in Search of Mystery, Miracles, and God. Her website Spiritual Travels features holy sites around the world.