Roses from The Little Flower

The saints intercede for us all of the time and I believe that sometimes they find ways to remind us that they are with us. This is a little story about one of those heavenly blessings…

Two years ago Dan took 10 students, plus 3  chaperones, to World Youth Day in Madrid. They joined a larger group from Franciscan University and before going to Spain, they journeyed to Rome and Assisi for a 10 day pilgrimage. It was an incredible opportunity, especially for the teens. I was so excited for them and supported the trip, but I was sad and anxious (and maybe a tad bit jealous) about him being gone in Europe for 16 days.

There were many moments while Dan was away that I felt St. Thérèse was showering a few roses my way, like when I was cleaning and stumbled upon a holy card of her in the midst of some children’s books. Or  when Dan and his group got stuck in Miami over night and were taken to a parish for Mass and when they drove up, found out it was named Little Flower. And then when the dying rose bush in our front yard, that I had yet to see a rose grow on, suddenly bloomed. We had no clue that these little “Thérèse moments” were preparing us for something incredible.

After their journey through Rome and Assisi, the pilgrims made it to Madrid. One morning I woke up with a text from Dan that said something about an amazing experience and a St. Thérèse relic and that he would call soon…thanks to the auto-correct, the text didn’t make much sense and I had to wait impatiently for a phone call from Spain. A few hours later he finally called and shared his story. His group was waiting outside of one of the churches for Mass. This Church was designated for the English-speaking pilgrims and they were told it was dedicated to St. Thérèse for the week. A huge crowd was gathering, waiting to go inside the Church doors. And rumor had it that they were waiting for St. Thérèse to arrive.

Dan happened to be standing on the outskirts of the crowd and over on the side of the church, he saw a woman drive up in a white Volvo station wagon with a picture of The Little Flower on the door. He watched the woman get out of the car and walk toward the trunk. Dan quickly put the dots together and realized that the remains of St. Thérèse were inside- so not just a small relic- but her actual remains from Lisieux. Dan looked around and no one seemed to be heading in that direction to help. (I guess it is fitting that this saint of the Little Way would arrive in such a humble fashion, almost unnoticed.)  So he walked ran over to volunteer, he smiled and flexed his arm muscles. She smiled back and nodded her head, letting him know that she would appreciate his help. So Dan turned and called some of the guys from their group over and they helped to lift the casket out of the car.  Meanwhile, the Church doors opened and the people started to file in. Dan and the other men remained in the back and then they carried this little saint on their shoulders, down the aisle and placed her in front of the altar.

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By the time he finished his story, I had tears streaming down my face. The previous 11 or 12 days of him being away and me being home, taking care of the kids – our exhaustion, all of the sacrifices we both made and trials we had while apart from one another – this moment, this gift was reminder to us of God’s love for us and we felt the graces and we were given a renewed spirit.

I know this happened awhile ago, but I think about it often. I love that even though I am the one with the huge devotion to this saint, my husband was the one who had this experience. But because we are one, united in our marriage, I felt as if it happened to me- and it brought us closer together spiritually. I know he was praying for me, for us, and for our children the entire time. It can be so easy to get caught up in the things of this world, I know I do it all of the time. I worry about our country and the culture of our society. I worry about our kids growing up in this culture and the influences they will have and so on. But then I think God sends these little reminders that our life shouldn’t be about this world, but about trying to get to the next. We have to be those lights in the darkness, just like the saints and I believe that they are helping us to do that, we just can’t forget to ask. Today, I am thankful for the life of Thérèse and her yes to follow Jesus. I pray for the grace to daily say yes to Jesus, as well.

“I feel that my mission is about to begin, my mission of making others love God, as I love Him, my mission of teaching my little way to souls. If God answers my requests, my heaven will be spent on earth up until the end of the world. Yes, I want to spend my heaven doing good on earth.”

Thank you, St. Thérèse.

And happy feast day!

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2 Comments

  1. Awesome, awesome post. You are awesome! :)

  2. What a beautiful post to remind me to look for God’s daily love notes and roses from St. Therese! Thank you Lauren.

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