From Leonardo Defilippis on Thérèse on National Review Online:
"The making of the movie has a story behind it just as interesting as The Passion's. In the four years since we started production, we've raised a multimillion-dollar budget from the donations of individuals. From substantial grants to flower sales organized by school children, from one family's donation of $25,000 in retirement savings to a widow's gift of $10,000 from her late husband's estate, there are hundreds of stories of ordinary people sacrificing to see this story told. Pope John Paul II himself saw Thérèse last summer, and has given his blessing not just to the film, but also to all who view it. The popularity of the film's website, www.theresemovie.com reflects the huge anticipation by followers of the saint for the release of Thérèse.
Why is Thérèse so popular, and why the flood of support for a film on her life? Thérèse Martin's short life as a 19th-century French nun might have been buried in obscurity if she hadn't written down her story and her spiritual philosophy before her premature death from tuberculosis at age 24. Her sister, who was also the mother superior of the monastery, asked her to write down her childhood reminiscences, and out of obedience Therese complied. What followed was not just a charming story of her early life, but also a clear explanation of her 'little way' to get to Heaven. This little book spread like wildfire throughout the world, because of the simple ideas that Saint Thérèse presented: how ordinary people can grow close to God through the day-to-day tasks in their lives. After her death in 1897, miracles attributed to the young nun's intercession began to be documented almost immediately, and the Carmelite nun was put on the fast track to sainthood and canonized in 1925. "