Benedict XVI Welcomes Relics of St. Thérèse

Urges Faithful to Love Scripture as She Did

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 14, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI expressed his joy at being able to pray before the relics of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, which are in Rome accompanied by pilgrims and the bishop from the saint's home diocese.



At the end of today's general audience, the Pope greeted the faithful from the French Diocese of Bayeux and Lisieux, and Bishop Pierre Auguste Pican, who are in Rome on pilgrimage, with the relics of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face.

The Holy Father recalled how "120 years ago, Thérèse of Lisieux came to Rome to ask permission of Pope Leo XIII to enter the Carmelite order, despite her youth. Eighty years ago, Pope Pius XI proclaimed her patron saint of missions, and in 1997, Pope John Paul II declared her a doctor of the Church."

"In this audience," he continued, "I will have the joy of praying before her relics, as will many faithful over the course of this week in various churches in Rome."

The Pontiff used the French Carmelite's example to encourage reading the Bible.

"St. Thérèse would have liked to learn the languages of the Bible in order to better understand sacred Scripture," he said. "Following her example and that of St. Jerome, dedicate time to frequent reading of the Bible. By familiarizing yourselves with the Word of God, you will discover Christ and remain in intimate contact with him."