As we made our way north from Paris into the heart of Normandy, I didn’t quite realize just how deep the area’s spiritual past was until I set foot in Lisieux. Both a cultural and spiritual center, Lisieux is the home of all things Saint Therese.
People flock to Lisieux to see the remarkable Basilica of Saint Therese, which roughly stands 300 feet tall. Built in 1929 in honor of Saint Therese and consecrated in 1954, its walls and those of the crypt are covered with mosaics and stained glass illustrating Saint Therese’s message. Six mosaics portray scenes from her life. Catholics who follow saints will know the life and work of Saint Therese, but those who don’t, you might be wondering what was so profound about this saint that one of the largest basilicas built in the 20th century is dedicated to her.
She is known to be one of the greatest saints of modern times. Born in 1873 into a profoundly Christian family, she spent the last nine years of her life devoted to God. Thanks to her writings, entitled Story of a Soul, published one year after her death, Therese became rapidly known and loved throughout the world. She was beatified on April 29, 1923 and proclaimed a saint on May 17, 1925 by Pope Pius XI.
People light candles inside the Basilica to pay their respects and pray.
Below – the absolutely breathtaking mosaics in La Basilique Supérieure de Lisieux.
Dedication to Saint Therese.
For Planning Purposes:
The Basilica of Notre-Dame: Louis and Zelie wedding took place in 1858 as did Therese’s baptism in 1873 and Zelie’s funeral in 1877.
La Basilique: Dedicated to Saint Therese, the basilica contains a reliquary. Built between 1929 and 1937, beautiful mosacis illustrate her message. Inside the chapel is where Therese as christened.
Le Carmel: Therese lived here the last nine years of her life; her remains are under the shrine.
La Cathedral Saint-Pierre: This was Therese’s family parish, a gothic church from the late 12th century. In one of the chapels, she had the revelation of her vocation.
Your spiritual check list for Lisieux includes La Basilica, Louis Martin’s pavilion, the church of Saint Peter of Monsort, the Basilique Notre-Dame, Le Carmel and Cathedral Saint-Pierre.
Sanctuaire Saint Therese
33 Rue du Carmel
14102 Lisieux France
Be sure to check out our Brittany/Normandy food & wine section (and posts), as well as our general section on Brittany/Normandy. And, of course for the passionate about all things France, we have quite a bit of content in our France section as well as Paris.
Note: My trip was hosted by the French Tourism Board, however all opinions expressed are entirely my own.