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Edith Piaf and Thérèse of Lisieux

by Fr. J. Linus Ryan, O. Carm.,

National Co-Ordinator, St. Thérèse Relics Visit 2001.

“I thirst for LOVE, fulfil my hope.”  [Thérèse PN 31, 6]

In 1999, a book associated the two Christian names Edith and Thérèse with the sub-title ‘The Saint and the Sinner.’

Today the film ‘La Vie en Rose’ (recently released in France under the title of ‘La Môme’—young girl) and showing in Ireland since June 22, 2007, continues to bring them together.  Is this a legend?  No, it is the truth.  In fact, the very first picture on screen shows a desperately ill Edith Piaf on stage in a state of collapse earnestly invoking St. Thérèse of Lisieux.

The Facts:

How has life brought them together?  Born in 1913, Edith, abandoned by her mother, was entrusted by her father to her grandmother Louise Gassion.  At the age of 7/8 Edith had an inflammation of the cornea (keratin) which for three years had been making her gradually blind.  Louise, her grandmother, was a cook in a brothel in Bernay in the province of Eure (not far from Lisieux) and the child was looked after by the women who lived there.  They were devastated by her handicap until somebody related a miracle (altro…)

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