“We sing Thérèse’s texts and something new resonates each time: about life, death and love”

“I am one of those people who find it easier to pray to Saint Thérèse than to God. The simplicity of his writings and his life gives less the impression of disturbing., testifies Natasha St-Pier. Misunderstood by some who find her a bit mushy, adored by others, Thérèse of the Child Jesus does not leave anyone indifferent. Her twenty-four years on Earth, her hypersensitive character, her spiritual intuitions and the profound simplicity of her texts make her the friend and source of inspiration for many artists of various styles. “I don’t know why I’m so attached to her. It’s like something is muted in my head and in my soul.”, continues the Canadian singer. Since Therese Live on love, recorded with singer Grégory Turpin in 2013, she set to music almost all of the sixty-two poems written by the little saint. Platinum disc upon its release, the sentimental album is reissued this year, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Saint Thérèse, when the singer releases a new album on Saint Joan of Arc.

An inspiring life

Discovering Thérèse’s admiration for the Maid of Orléans, Natasha St-Pier easily puts their lives in parallel. “Thérèse said she was like Jeanne: a warrior, who fights with the weapons of love, to crown not a mortal king, but the King of Heaven” : a new way to draw inspiration from Carmelite. Initiator of the pop-spi movement in France, Grégory Turpin was converted at the age of 15 in front of the relics of Thérèse of Lisieux and spent a year in Carmel. “Thanks to her, I understood that faith is first and foremost a relationship to build, more than things to do”he continues, touched by the life and character of the saint. “Some people stop at her slightly dated literary style, but she’s a little sister who comes to upset our certainties. Many artists can identify with her. She experienced anxieties and very difficult things like her father’s madness or the loss of her mother. She was hypersensitive, but without a psychologist, she experienced miracles where she was healed by God. »

Other Carmelite saints, such as Thérèse of Avila, Edith Stein or John of the Cross, patron saint of poets, wrote texts of great spiritual depth, but Thérèse of Lisieux touches by her simplicity. “His poetry is very accessible, with phrases worthy of the greatest songs”, enthuses Grégory Turpin. Before him, the musician and Carmelite Pierre Éliane was the first to set Thérèse’s texts to music in a style close to French song. “I wanted to create bridges between cultures that don’t know each other”says the priest, musician, author and composer before entering Carmel thirty-two years ago.

Little Therese seems to infiltrate everywhere

“I met many witnesses of Thérèse in all walks of life”, assures the religious, recalling that Edith Piaf always had a portrait of the saint in her dressing room and slipped a medal representing her around the neck of her companion, the world boxing champion Marcel Cerdan, before entering the ring. Musicians, sportsmen or intellectuals, fans of Thérèse let themselves be seduced by her little way of spiritual childhood. “When I entered the Carmel, Thérèse turned me upside down!says Brother Pierre. She was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church when she didn’t even know how to do her hair on her own! She is the doctor of the power of love which unfolds in weakness. She teaches us to live only in the reality of small things in order to love, this is called spiritual realism and it is a splendid safeguard against idealism. There is a great diversity of sacred stories, but a reality common to all of which Thérèse shows the way: we are all made to become children, and to be born to love. »

The universality of Thérèse’s message

Also heirs of Pierre Éliane, the Swiss pop singer Olivier Mottet and his wife, Marie, harpist and professor of Gregorian, share with the Carmelite Brother this observation of the universality of Thérèse’s message. “She speaks to all audiences, from children to the elderly, because her language is truly universal, it reaches the human soul, whatever the spirituality”assures the young couple, touched by the testimony of an 80-year-old woman at the end of one of their concerts, who told them that they had lived the most beautiful moment of her life. “We sing Thérèse’s texts for weddings as well as for funerals, and something new resonates each time: about life, death and love. » The poem “My Arms”, in which Saint Thérèse sings the virtues of the three religious vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, particularly speaks to the two musicians. “The weapons she gives us, always repeating how easy God is to approach, touch all states of life, remove our fears”assures Olivier.

For Olivier and Marie Mottet, the language of Saint Thérèse reaches the human soul, whatever the spirituality. /DR​​​​​

Marlène Goulard, by her stage name PRÉNOM MARLENE, lets herself be inspired by this Teresian spirituality both in life, as a member of the Order of Secular Discalced Carmelites (OCDS), and in her work as an artist, composer, director and performer. “I received two strong calls from Thérèse: the first to join the OCDS, the second to place my artistic works explicitly at the service of God, which was not easy to receive, because it was to close a lot of doors at the start of a career”says the young woman. His show discover yourself retraces this artistic and spiritual itinerary, lived hand in hand with the little saint. She also devotes an episode of his series “Bonne Nouvelle” currently broadcast on KTO. “When Thérèse harpoons, she does not let go. She constantly helps me, and she teaches me to relate to Jesus as I am, where I am. It creates a bond between people too; the lovers of Thérèse, it’s a whole network! »

“We sing Thérèse’s texts and something new resonates each time: about life, death and love”