This is a view of the courtyard of the Lisieux Carmel in France. Therese entered this monastery on April 9, 1888 and made her profession on September 8, 1890.
The Crucifix in the middle of the garden played an important role in her life. She contemplated it often, drew from it the strength to love the little things of everyday life, which the roses at the foot of this Cross symbolize. Sometimes Therese would throw the fallen rose petals up towards Christ.
Her cell was on the first floor, marked in this photo with a small cross on the wall. It was there that she wrote the Story of a Soul, her autobiographical manuscripts.
In June 1897, she was brought down to the infirmary on the ground floor, in one of the rooms on the right side of this photo. This room faces the garden where Therese so often spent recreation time with the community and with the novices whose formation was entrusted to her.
In the infirmary, her Sisters recorded her “last conversations.” Therese died there on September 30, 1897, at the age of 24 years, 9 months. She was canonized on May 17, 1925, declared the universal Patroness of Missions on December 14, 1927 and Doctor of the Church on October 19, 1997. (taken from “I Offer Myself to Your Love” by Conrad De Meester)
The Carmel convent is currently undergoing extensive renovations to help preserve the precious space that was home to Therese from 1888 to 1897. You can help the The Society of the Little Flower and the Carmelite Sisters in their renovation efforts. Read more about the efforts at Revisiting the Miracle.