Happy Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux!
“After my death, I will let fall a shower of roses” St. Therese of Lisieux.
When I was young my mother and I went to a huge garage sale. With all the items there the only things I remember getting were two holy cards. One was of Jesus and the other was of Mary (or so I thought). I kept these holy cards in my room not knowing nearly anything about the saints, including St. Therese of Lisieux. I also had never seen a nun in my life so I just assumed the image was of Mary. Years later when I was taking classes to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation I was to pick a confirmation saint. The only saint I really knew about by that time was St. Therese of Lisieux because my grandmother had a beautiful devotion to her. Through my grandmother’s devotion to St. Therese she told me many beautiful and miraculous stories about receiving roses as a confirmation that God had heard her prayer through the intercession of St. Therese. I then realized that this saint on the holy card I had gotten at the garage sale years ago was actually of St. Therese. So, I decided to ask St. Therese, the little flower, to be my confirmation saint.
I still did not know much about St. Therese other than she gave people roses, which I thought was pretty amazing. Years later while I was in college growing in my faith I decided to learn more about her. I read the “Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux,” which deeply touched my heart. I continued to develop a friendship with her as she was one of the very first saints who came into my life. As one of my friends put it, “She is the child on the playground that wants to be everyone’s friend and eventually will become your friend.”
Then as I was joining a household at Franciscan University I was still learning how to pray the Rosary. I did not have all the mysteries or prayers memorized quite yet though I desired to learn and pray the Rosary more. I prayed a St. Therese’s novena asking for her intercession to help me learn the Rosary. I had not told anyone that I was praying this novena. I then received a special gift from my big in household. It was a Rosary from Lisieux! My big’s boyfriend at the time (now husband) was studying abroad in Europe for the semester. While he was visiting Lisieux, where St. Therese lived and became a Carmelite sister, he picked up a Rosary for me. He felt that the Holy Spirit wanted me to have it. Not only this, but my big had messaged her boyfriend asking him to pick up a Rosary for me while he was in Lisieux. The strange thing is that he never received this message from his girlfriend. Needless to say I was very thankful for this Rosary and for St. Therese gifting me with my very own special Rosary through my big and her now husband.
Once while my grandmother was praying a novena to St. Therese roses appeared on her doorstep without a trace of who they were from or how they got there. I was anticipating that this would happen after praying this novena. Although I did not receive physical roses I did receive spiritual roses by means of this special gift from my big. St. Louis Marie de Montfort in “The Secret of the Rosary” says that the Rosary is a “mystical rose tree.” How special it is that St. Therese’s feast day happens to the the first day of the month of the Rosary!
“This mystical rose tree is Jesus and Mary in life, death and eternity; its green leaves are the Joyous Mysteries, the thorns the Sorrowful ones and the flowers, the Glorious Mysteries of Jesus and Mary. The buds are the childhood of Jesus and Mary, and the open blooms show us both of them in their sufferings, and the full-blown roses symbolize Jesus and Mary in their triumph and glory… every time people say the Rosary devoutly they place a crown of one hundred and fifty-three red roses and sixteen white roses upon the heads of Jesus and Mary. Being heavenly flowers these roses will never fade or lose their exquisite beauty” St. Louis de Montfort.
May St. Therese help us all to deepen our devotion to Jesus and Mary through the prayer of the Rosary! May she also continue to shower the world with physical and spiritual roses! Thank you St. Therese for helping me to learn the prayers of Rosary over the years and for gifting me with a special Rosary that I can pray with.
“The Rosary is the most beautiful and the most rich in graces of all prayers; it is the prayer that touches most the Heart of the Mother of God… and if you wish peace to reign in your homes, recite the family Rosary” Pope Saint Pius X.