“4. Today I am particularly pleased to conclude this meeting with you by recalling St Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, whom I had the joy of solemnly proclaiming a doctor of the Church last Sunday.

The witness and example of this young saint, patroness of the missions and doctor of the Church, help us to understand the intimate unity between the task of understanding and comprehending the faith and the properly missionary one of proclaiming the Gospel of salvation. By its very nature faith seeks to make itself understandable and accessible to all. Therefore, the Christian mission always strives to make the truth known, and true love of neighbour is shown in its most profound and complete form when it seeks to give its neighbour what man most radically needs: knowledge of the truth and communion with it. And the supreme truth is the mystery of the Triune God definitively and unsurpassably revealed in Christ. When missionary ardour risks growing cold, the primary reason is the loss of passion and love for the truth which the Christian faith presents.

On the other hand, knowledge of Christian truth inwardly requires and interiorly demands love for him to whom it has given its assent. The sapiential theology of St Thérèse of the Child Jesus shows the high road for all theological reflection and doctrinal research: the love on which “depend all the law and the prophets” is a love which strives for the truth and is thus cherished as authentic agape for God and man. It is important for theology today to recover the spiritual dimension that integrates the intellectual and scholarly aspect with holiness of life and the contemplative experience of the Christian mystery. Thus St. Thérèse of Lisieux, doctor of the Church, with her wise reflection nourished by the sources of Sacred Scripture and divine Tradition, in complete fidelity to the teachings of the Magisterium, shows contemporary theology the way to reach the heart of the Christian faith.D’altra parte, la conoscenza della verità cristiana richiama intimamente ed esige interiormente l’amore a Colui al quale ha dato il proprio assenso. La teologia sapienziale di Santa Teresa di Gesù Bambino mostra la via maestra di ogni riflessione teologica e ricerca dottrinale: l’amore dal quale «dipendono la Legge e i Profeti» è amore che tende alla verità e in questo modo si conserva come autentico agape verso Dio e verso l’uomo. E’ importante per la teologia oggi recuperare la dimensione sapienziale, che integra l’aspetto intellettuale e scientifico con la santità della vita e l’esperienza contemplativa del Mistero cristiano. Così Santa Teresa di Lisieux, Dottore della Chiesa, con la sua sapiente riflessione alimentata dalle sorgenti della Sacra Scrittura e della divina Tradizione, pienamente fedele agli insegnamenti del Magistero, indica alla teologia odierna la strada da percorrere per raggiungere il cuore della fede cristiana.

(“Address of his Holiness, Pope John Paul II, to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith”, Friday, 24 October 1997)

See “Divini Amoris Scientia” by Pope John Paul II declaring St. Thérèse Doctor of the Church.