Monday, October 1, 2012

St. Therese of Lisieux's Feast Day

Today is the feast day of a dear little saint--and a Doctor of the Church--named St. Therese of Lisieux, also known as St. Therese of the Child Jesus.  She is called "The Little Flower," too, because she promised to continue doing good for souls after her death by sending down a shower of roses from Heaven.  Today would be a good day to ask St. Therese to pick you a rose from the Heavenly Garden, if you could use one--I think she would be only too happy to oblige.

Here is a painting of St. Therese of Lisieux, an iconic image which is well-known to many.
I have read that those who saw St. Therese in the flesh found that the painted images of her, which are stylized and beautified, don't really do justice to the saintliness and humility of her expression, the holiness that poured forth from her brown eyes.  I don't know if you've ever seen an actual photograph of her, so I thought I'd post one here.
St. Therese was not meant to spend much time in this world and died at the age of 24 in the Carmelite convent.  But in her short life, she made a profound mark.  Through her writings she taught the "Little Way of Spiritual Childhood," by which she meant that even in our littleness, we can all hope to become saints.

I am privileged to own a true relic of St. Therese of Lisieux, which I wrote about in a previous post.  There was no official document that went along with it, but I felt fairly certain it was the real thing.  When we were out at Notre Dame recently for a football game, we visited the relic room in the back of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, which houses a large number of holy relics--including a splinter from the True Cross and remains taken from the 12 Apostles, Pope St. Pius X, and all the saints in the Church calendar, including St. Therese of Lisieux.  And my little relic (right down to the velvet-lined little glass-fronted metal reliquary, and inside, the tiny strip of paper with her name typed on it) looked exactly like the ones in the basilica's glass cases.
How humbling that is, knowing that I have an authentic relic of this holy saint in my possession!  For the rest of my days, I will ask the Little Flower to remember me to our Lord, to ask Him to send me the graces necessary to prepare my soul for the next world, and to have mercy on my soul when it leaves this one.  St. Therese of Lisieux, pray for me!

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