On entering the Basilica I had to sit in a pew to take in all in.
First of all, imagine being one of 4000 pilgrims who are in this Basilica at the same time as you, incredible, lucky there weren't many the day I was here.
My eyes wandered everywhere, there was just so much to take in.Looking towards the Apse, I could see Jesus Christ welcoming us, and on either side of Him, the Virgin Mary and St. Therese calling to each of us. This is symbolized by Lambs, to come and shelter in total confidence beneath His mantle.
I could see the Holy Spirit which was in the form of a Dove, and God on the triumphal arch, with his hands out stretched to us.
Looking upwards into the cupola, Therese is crowned in Heaven, flowers in her hand which symolize her actions that were carried out with love.
Inside this Basilica is beautiful, and a MUST SEE if coming to Lisieux.
What ever you do, don't miss out on seeing the Crypt.
It was completed in 1932, and recalls the secret of Therese's spiritual life. There are many mosaics, the ones in the side aisle's are modern and show stages of Therese's life, like her Baptism, 1st Holy Communion and her death.
On the main altar is another lovely mosaic showing Angels who hold out basket's of Flower's to her. The words inscribed here are"Oh! I love Him! My God, I love you!"
In another area of the crypt, 12 altar's are dedicated to Therese's favorite Saint's.
There is a lot to see here, and it is a MUST SEE.
I took my time looking at the outside of the Basilica before entering.
In my photo , You will be able to see the Facade. Therese is there, surrounded by many Angels from heaven on the upper level. On the lower level, are historic notable people who contributed to her glorification on earth.
Below this level are figures that symbolize the virtues of "faith, hope, charity, justice, prudence, fortitude and temperance."
Above the doors, [photo 2] is an illustration of a scene in the Gospel where Jesus points out a little child to His apostles.
St. Jacques Church was heavily hit by bombs in 1944. The Church was restored after the war, and looks in good condition, but it is no longer used as a Church. It is now the municipal exhibit hall where in Summer you are able to see an exhibition on the Martin family. The statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel has been moved to St. Pierre's Cathedral.
Close to Lisieux (about 6 kms south) is the wonderful harmonious 16th century chateau of St Germain de Livet. It is open to the public and guided tours are available. The most notable feature is the chequered facade that is highly original and unusual in design.
There is a faux moat and well kept gardens.
Located to the side of the Basilica, is the large Bell Tower which contains 51 bells. One of the Bell's weighs 9tons, and is known as the "great bell" The Bells are said to be some of the finest in Europe.
On either side of the door, there were photo's of Therese's parents Louis & Zelie Martin.
I had seen many photo's of this Roman Catholic Basilica, but nothing compared to seeing it in person.
The basilica, located high on a hill is huge, is of a nice grey & cream colour, and has lovely surrounding gardens, it really is stunning!
It was decided to build a large Basilica dedicated to St. Therese who was canonised in 1925, in the city where she lived and died.
This Basilica is the work of French artist's and happens to be one of the largest of the 20th century. More than two million people visit a year making it the second largest pilgrimage site in France after Lourdes. Pope John Paul II visited the Basilica on 2 June 1980.
The 1st stone of the Basilica was laid by Pope Pius XI in 1929. He wanted it to be very big, very beautiful and built very quickly. I certainly can agree with the 1st two, it is both of them.
In 1937, the Basilica was blessed, and in 1954, was consecrated.
Amazingly, it was funded entirely by donations and special contributions from several countries from around the world, so there are 18 minor altars offered by different nations to St. Therese.
Lots of people visit here because of St. Therese who was canonised here in 1925, and was one of the most popular spiritual figures over the last hundred years.
There is a large car park close to the Basilica. You may have to run the gauntlet past beggers, we had to!
Masses at the Basilica and crypt
Sunday : 10.30 a.m and 5.00 pm
Every day : 11.00 am
July and August : 5.00 pm on Saturday
9 - 6PM and from June - September 9 - 7.30pm
Locted in the city itself, is the Cathedral of St. Pierre. A gothic Church that dates from the 12th century, it was the seat of a Bishop until the French Revolution.
It was also the Parish of the Martin Family [St. Therese's parent's]
It was here I saw at the Main Altar, donated by Blessed Louis Martin in 1888.
Therese used to hear Mass in this very church. Inside there is a statue showing where Therese sat every Sunday at Mass, and where she found the missionary vocation.
OPEN. 9.30am - 6.45pm Daily
Mass at 11am on Sundays. 6pm Monday - Friday
Just a short walk from St. Pierre Cathedral, I found the lovely Bishopric Garden.
This garden was recreated from 1830 to 1840 and adjoins the old Episcopal Palace and the Cathedral.
It originally was a parterre, waterfall garden and Jardin de la Couronne garden. Now, it is lawned and has annual flowers growing, and a circular pond with a fountain, and is lined by rows of plane trees. The bandstand dates back to 1910.
The Basilique Ste Therese was built in the middle of the 20th century and dedicated to Ste Therese on July 11th 1954. It is one of the largest churches built in Europe of the 20th century, constructed in modern roman-byzantine style. The Basilique contains many artworks, including statues and a large number of stained glass windows and vitrals. You will find also a small exhibition about the life of Ste Therese and the life of the Carmelite sisters thoughout the centuries.
If you want to learn some more about Ste Therese right now, I can recommend the web page of the sanctuary of Ste Therese (see below). It is very informative with many pictures.