Saturday, October 1, 2022

Celebrate the Feast Day of St. Therese of Lisieux, Patron Saint of Women Priests

"I would want to be a priest"

 I sense in myself the vocation of Warrior, Priest, Apostle, and Martyr. In the heart of the Church, my Mother, I will be love. 5

—St. Thérèse of Lisieux

From Women's Ordination Website

"In testimonies from the process of her beatification there is a detailed statement from Céline. She shared that Thérèse preferred death to the continued painful endurance of living with her unfulfilled call. Thérèse believed God had let her become sick so she would not have to suffer rejection by the Church from priesthood. In her testimony, Céline said:

‘… before she was really ill, Sister Thérèse told me she expected to die that year. ... When she realised that she had pulmonary tuberculosis, she said: 'You see, God is going to take me at an age when I would not have had the time to become a priest ... If I could have been a priest, I would have been ordained at these June ordinations. So, what did God do? So that I would not be disappointed, he let me be sick: in that way I couldn't have been there, and I would die before I could exercise my ministry.' 8

‘The sacrifice of not being able to be a priest was something she always felt deeply. During her illness, whenever we were cutting her hair she would ask for a tonsure [the practice of shaving the crown of the head that was part of the ritual of ordination until it was abandoned by papal order 9 in 1972] ... But her regret did not find its expression merely in such trifles; it was caused by a real love of God, and inspired high hopes in her. The thought that St Barbara had brought communion to St Stanislas Kostka thrilled her. 'Why must I be a virgin, and not an angel or a priest?' she said. 'Oh! what wonders we shall see in heaven! I have a feeling that those who desired to be priests on earth will be able to share in the honour of the priesthood in heaven.' 10

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