Posted by: catholicrelics | October 8, 2009

St Therese in Oxford

Bl. Louis with S. Thérèse, originally uploaded by jdbradley.

Divine Comedy – A Theresian Mystery Play

The Oxford Oratory and parishioners have eagerly awaited the arrival of St Therese’s relics. To honour the arrival, alongside all the preparations, they have immersed in her life and message by performing a play, with a cast of 60 people, running for four performances inside the Church.

One lady, who played a lacemaker in Zelie Martin’s lace making business, said that it had taken over the whole week and was a great way to prepare for the joy of St Therese’s arrival.

The Oxford Oratory describes the play as:

“Divine Comedy: A Theresian Mystery Play, explores the life, spirituality and influence of St Therese of Lisieux. The play contains echoes of Dante’s Divina Commedia, fusing the planes of purgatory, heaven and hell with the story of two young people whose spiritual journey touches that of St Therese. It is also a modern reworking of the medieval mystery or miracle play – a play that took sacred matter, the life of Christ, or a biblical character or saint, as its subject. When performed in a church, the architecture of the building played its part: where the actor stood in relation to the sanctuary, for instance, was significant and gave an imperative key to the action. In our own play, the twenty mysteries of the Rosary have been woven into the drama, in honour of the fact that Therese’s relics will arrive in our church on 7th October. A few of the mysteries are made explicit and merged with the plot turns, as with the Annunciation and the Visitation in the scene where the young Therese is healed by our Lady. The rest are alluded to less directly.”



  1. Thank you so much for your beautiful photos of the play held at St. Aloysius – they are a wonderful record for those of us who were in the play but couldn’t see it as we were backstage !! The lighting is very sensitive and the mood of the play very well captured. Also pleasing are the photos of the visit of the relics.
    With much appreciation, Christine Johnson, one of the ‘Carmelite nuns’ in the play.

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