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Maurice and Therese: The Story of a Love

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Overview

As Saint Therese lay dying in the Carmel of Lisieux, she overheard a conversation that amused her. Outside her window, two nuns were discussing what they could write in her obituary that could possibly be of any interest, since the twenty-four-year-old nun had never done anything worth noting. Therese was pleased, for she had always kept a low profile. With the posthumous publication of her spiritual autobiography in 1898, however, that low profile would vanish instantly. She became one of the most beloved saints...

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Maurice and Therese: The Story of a Love

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Overview

As Saint Therese lay dying in the Carmel of Lisieux, she overheard a conversation that amused her. Outside her window, two nuns were discussing what they could write in her obituary that could possibly be of any interest, since the twenty-four-year-old nun had never done anything worth noting. Therese was pleased, for she had always kept a low profile. With the posthumous publication of her spiritual autobiography in 1898, however, that low profile would vanish instantly. She became one of the most beloved saints of all time, and her influence will expand dramatically because of Pope John Paul II's declaration that she is a Doctor of the Church. Amid growing interest in her writings comes the collected correspondence between her and a humble young seminarian, Maurice Belliere. Though they never met in person, they exchanged twenty-one letters that opened a window on the heart of Saint Therese that would have remained forever closed had Maurice not written to the Mother Superior at the convent asking for a nun to pray for him. The Mother Superior chose Therese, and in these conversational letters the Little Flower reveals herself in a way that we would never have known from her autobiography. In his accompanying text, Bishop Patrick Ahern expertly leads the reader into the worlds of Maurice and Therese and reveals the full beauty of this saint's spirituality.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In his balanced, insightful narrative, Bishop Ahern avoids the pitfalls of hagiography: He gives us no plaster saint, but a full-bodied portrait, full of shadows and light. The reader is left with a sense of the sheer divine mystery of the love and suffering-in every sense the passion?of these two young people touched by God. It is a most timely book for a secular age; it is also a gift."
—Charles Scribner III

"A beautiful and inspiring story; truly a book about a saint for sinners."
—Mary Higgins Clark

"A marvelous book. Perhaps I knew Therese as a saint before I read her letters to Maurice and his to her; I did not know her as a woman. Now she fascinates me more than ever."
—John Cardinal O'Connor

Library Journal
Ahern, the auxiliary bishop of New York, explores the relationship between the Carmelite nun St. Therese of Lisieux and a struggling young priest, Maurice Belliere, by compiling the 21 letters exchanged between them and providing biographical details. St. Therese had a short life, dying at the age of 24 of tuberculosis, but she expressed in her prose meaning and inspiration that brought peace to troubled souls. Through this correspondence, the reader is able to "listen in" on the intimate conversation she shared with Maurice as she encouraged his self-acceptance. The two became soulmates through their letters from 1896 until St. Therese's death in 1897. Expressing the suffering and passion of two imperfect persons touched by God, their story captures what St. Therese did best: showing by example how to be holy in life. Recommended for large religious collections.--Leo Vincent Kriz, West Des Moines Lib., IA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385497404
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/28/2001
  • Pages: 284
  • Sales rank: 573,769
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Patrick Ahern, an auxiliary bishop of New York, is widely regarded as one of the foremost experts on the spirituality of Saint Therese of Lisieux. He lives and works in Manhattan.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2003

    A Wonderful Book

    Though the letters that are given to us in this book are between a young seminarian and a young Carmelite Nun, the reader is able to take away insights and ecouragment that are applicable to his or her own life. I myself am studying to be a religious brother and have found that, in some cases, I can relate very well to the struggles that the young seminarian encounters. There was a point in the book where I felt St. Therese was speaking directly to me, telling me things that I needed to hear, and in a way that I would understand what she is saying. If you are ever in a position of wanting to know St. Therese's spirituality, read this book. It gives the reader a clear picture of what that spirituality is. If you ever doubt that God loves you, read this book. You will not ever doubt it after you read this book by Bishop Ahern.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 25, 2013

    A young seminarian, Maurice Belliere (age 21), requests that a n

    A young seminarian, Maurice Belliere (age 21), requests that a nun from Carmel pray for him, and Therese is assigned the duty. What transpires is Therese (age 23), through their correspondence, finds a soul mate in Maurice and adopts him as the younger brother she never got to know. Her spiritual maturity and prayerful advice helps him through his doubts and fears. In addition to presenting these spiritual love letters, the author relates what actually was transpiring in their respective lives during this time -- as well as the final outcome.

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  • Posted November 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Great Insight into the Spirituality of Therese of Lisieux

    This is a great insight into the spirituality of "the greatest saint of modern times." There are at least two profits to reading this book, a great look into spiritual underpinning of the latest and youngest Doctor of the Church and receiving something tangible for our own spiritual life. This is a great read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2008

    It is a really sweet story

    It is a very inspirational book about a priest trying to be able to overcome his guilt & shame to be able to do his calling to do God's work through him & young, sweet Therese helps ease his heart to get him back on the right path.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

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