St. Therese was born at Alencon, France on 2nd of January 1873. Two days later, she was baptized Marie Frances Thérèse at Notre Dame Church. Her parents were Louis Martin and Zélie Guérin. After the death of her mother on 28th of August 1877, Thérèse and her family moved to Lisieux.

Towards the end of 1879, she went to confession for the first time. On the Feast of the Pentecost in 1883, she received the singular grace of being healed from a serious illness through the intercession of Our Lady of Victories. Thereafter, guided by the Benedictine Nuns of Lisieux and immediately after following an intense  preparation culminating in a vivid experience of intimate union with Christ, she received the First Holy Communion on 8 May 1884. Some weeks later, on 14 of June of the same year, she received the Sacrament of Confirmation, fully aware of accepting the gift of the Holy Spirit as a personal participation in the grace of the Pentecost.

She wished to embrace the contemplative life, as her sisters Pauline and Marie had done in the Carmel of Lisieux, but was prevented from doing so owing to her young age. On a visit to Italy, after having visited the House of Loreto and the holy places of the Eternal City, during an audience granted by Pope Leo XIII to the pilgrims from Lisieux on the 20th of November 1887, she asked the Holy Father with childlike audacity to be able to enter the Carmel of Lisieux at the age of fifteen.

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