book review: the story of a soul [the autobiography of st. therese of lisieux]

Written by Mark Lafler

B.A., Global University; M.C.S., Regent College I am currently serving as a youth minister at our church in Sarasota, FL. I am married to Tera (15 Years +) and we have 3 beautiful daughters.

September 10, 2011

In Therese of Lisieux’s autobiography entitled The Story of a Soul she tells of her life story which was very short (1873-1897).

The young French girl always sensed a purpose in her life from a very young age.  Her mother died early and she was the “little flower” of her father.  Her two older sisters had joined the Carmel Convent and young Therese desired to go as well.  However, she was not old enough because she was only fifteen-years-old.

Nevertheless, true to her calling she prayed and asked many times if she would be granted special permission to join the convent at an early age.  She even asked the Pope during a pilgrimage to Rome.  It was finally granted by the church officials and by her own father.

Therese of Lisieux shares about her trials and faith in the last few chapters of the book.  Throughout the book, Therese of Lisieux tells of her devotion and love for Jesus.  The book is truly a love story between the two.

Eventually Therese succumbs to sickness and passes away.  She became recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church in the early twentieth century.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story of such a devoted young woman to her master Jesus Christ.

My favorite section is the pilgrimage to Rome.  On the one hand, I was reading an ancient travel narrative with surprises and twists and joy and hardship.  On the other hand, it was an incredible journey of obedience on the part of Therese of Lisieux to her superiors and to her calling to be a Carmelite.  Her discipline, patience, and loyalty are to be greatly admired.

Although the story is about Therese of Lisieux, I was most attracted to the character of her father and could identify with him the best.  He was a widower with four daughters.  All four of his daughters joined the Carmel Convent.  What a sacrifice!  And Therese of Lisieux is right to praise him for it.  I am the father of three daughters and I don’t know that I could find myself able to let that happen.

This story is truly amazing and should be well read by all.


Editor’s Note: The Story of a Soul (L’Histoire d’une Âme): The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux [Kindle Edition] is currently listed for FREE on!

1 Comment

  1. Andy Carlson

    Sounds like a book we all would enjoy reading….and inspiring..


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book review: the story of a soul [the autobiography of st. therese of lisieux]

by Mark Lafler time to read: 2 min