St. Thérèse And The Letter -T- In The Sky

St. Thérèse and the Letter T in the Sky
Many St. Thérèse devotees know the story of Thérèse discovering in the sky a cluster of stars that resembled the letter "T," and feeling that her name was thus written in heaven.  In the earliest translations of Story of a Soul, this vignette was explained as Orion's Belt being (a part of?) that spotted letter "T."  As Thérèse was approaching death, she seemed to realize that her writings might be used in some way and she gave her sister Pauline (Mother Agnes of Jesus) permission to edit the manuscripts as she saw fit.  However, by the mid-1950s, many wanted to read the manuscripts as they were originally written, and more direct translations of the manuscripts were prepared without Pauline's edits.  Below is a comparison of the starred-T narratives:    

1922 Edition of Story of a Soul (Chapter II) with edits by St. Thérèse's sister, Pauline:
I remember that I used to look up at the stars with inexpressible delight.  Orion's belt fascinated me especially, for I saw in it a likeness to the letter "T."  "Look, Papa," I would cry, "my name is written in Heaven!"     

1997 Edition of Story of a Soul (Chapter II) translated directly from St. Thérèse's manuscript:
When we were on the way home, I would gaze upon the stars which were twinkling ever so peacefully in the skies and the sight carried me away.  There was especially one cluster of golden pearls that attracted my attention and gave me great joy because they were in the form of a -T-.  I pointed them out to Papa and told him my name was written in heaven.

It is completely possible that St. Thérèse once shared with her sister Pauline that her view of the T-shaped stars was of Orion's Belt, and that Pauline, acting as editor, decided to include that detail. But, because Thérèse's actual written words don't include a reference to Orion's Belt, one can only speculate which cluster of stars she saw as a little girl while out walking with her Papa!

Today's Catholic - September 18, 2015

Please consider visiting St. Thérèse of Lisieux: A Gateway for great information on the Little Flower and her family ... including the canonization of her parents, Louis and Zélie Martin!