The Little Flower

Patron Saint of the TEC Movement

"My whole strength lies in prayer and sacrifice. These are my invincible arms; they can move hearts far better than words, I know it by experience."   

"When we do not give up praying, confidence works miracles."

"Love is repaid by love alone." 

 "Be not afraid to tell Jesus that you love Him; even though it be without feeling, this is the way to oblige Him to help you, and carry you like a little child too feeble to walk." 


St. Therese and the TEC Movement

On Oct. 19, 1997, the late Pope John Paul II proclaimed St. Therese of Lisieux a Doctor of the Church. In his homily on the occasion, he stated that "a convergence of doctrine and concrete experience, of truth and life, of teaching and practice...shine with particular brightness in St. Therese of Lisieux. She not only grasped and described the profound truth of love as the center and heart of the Church, but in her short life, she lived it intensely."

Noting that the insights drawn from the life of St. Therese coincide perfectly with the spiritual insights which guide the TEC Movement, the Leadership Council of the TEC Conference in 1998 placed TEC under the patronage of St. Therese. These insights reveal the close parallel between her way to the heart of God and the spiritual processes envisioned in the TEC Movement.

Because of the way in which she received everything as "grace"; because she put her relationship with Christ and her choice of love at the center of everything; because of the importance she gave to the ardent impulses of her heart on her spiritual journey; St. Therese of Lisieux is a saint who remains young despite the passing of the years. She serves as an outstanding model and guide for young Christians who now live in the third millennium.

TEC as a way to journey to the Heart of Christ--making a generous and sacrificial love the center of our journey--finds in St. Therese's "way" a living model and in her a joy-filled companion on our journey. We ask her for her intercession that we may ever be faithful companions in giving our hearts to God.

(Excerpted from the 2004 (c) TEC Conference Official Manual; ref. Section 10, pg. 49, "St. Therese of Lisieux")

TEC Conference former Executive Director Ron Reiter took this photo of
TEC's patron saint at the National Shrine of St. Therese in Darien, Ill.
during his October 2006 pilgrimage.

You can visit this shrine online at