By Ary Waldir Ramos Díaz
Catholic News Agency
September 2, 2023
On board the plane taking him to Mongolia, Pope Francis announced Aug. 31 that he is preparing an apostolic letter on St. Thérèse of Lisieux to be published Oct. 15.
The pontiff made his statement while greeting the 70 journalists who are accompanying him for a four-day visit to Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, including Andrea Gagliarducci of ACI Stampa, CNA’s Italian- language news partner.
During a general audience on June 7, Pope Francis announced that he was writing an apostolic letter on the patron saint of missions. “She was born 150 years ago and on this anniversary I intend to dedicate an apostolic letter to her,” he said.
That day in the morning, Pope Francis had prayed in St. Peter’s Square before the relics of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus. That afternoon he left for Gemelli Hospital in Rome to undergo a “laparotomy” operation.
The bishop of Rome stressed that St. Thérèse “lived devoted to God, forgetting about herself, loving and consoling Jesus, and interceding for the salvation of all.” The 150th anniversary of her birth and the 100th anniversary of her beatification are celebrated this year.
For the occasion, the Holy Father has granted a Jubilee Year in honor of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus that will last until Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024, and has the theme “For trust and love,” the last words of her autobiography, “Story of a Soul.”
Along the same lines, on Dec. 28, 2022, Pope Francis had published the apostolic letter Totum Amoris Est (“Everything Pertains to Love”) on the fourth centenary of the death of St. Francis de Sales.
St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, also known as the Little Flower, was a French Discalced Carmelite nun. She was born in the city of Alençon on Jan. 2, 1873. She was declared a saint in 1925 by Pope Pius XI and proclaimed a doctor of the Church on Oct. 19, 1997, by St. John Paul II. St. Pius X considered her “the greatest saint of modern times.”