On May 7, 2012, I wrote a blog post on the Holy Rosary giving a basic understanding of the prayer that Blessed John Paul II admitted was his favorite prayer and the one he prayed on a daily basis. The above link is my post for your reading enjoyment and understanding of the great Marian prayer. For the past 20 years, I have carried a rosary in my right pants pocket. This habit began when I joined the Knights of Columbus in 1992 at the age of 18 years old. It’s a great reminder that Our Blessed Mother is always with me. Through the good times and the bad times, the Rosary in my pocket is there. Through my times of frustration and joy, the Rosary in my pocket is there. Through my times of sin and virtue, the Holy Rosary is there in my pocket. I even have a Rosary hanging from my rearview in my Four Runner. The month of October is commonly known as the Month of the Rosary. “Mondays with Mary” will feature aspects of the Holy Rosary for this entire month. Please share the posts with your family and friends.
Today, October 1 is the Feast day of St. Therese of the Child Jesus a.k.a. St. Therese of Lisieux a.k.a. The Little Flower of Jesus. Most people are familiar with St. Therese and her Story of the Soul, so I will not go into any great detail about her life in this post. You can read about her at Catholic Online, EWTN, and on the official website for St. Therese.
For this post, I want to share a story about an experience I had with St. Therese, the Little Flower of Jesus. As many of you know, the flower that is most attributed to her is the Rose. During my first year of teaching at St. Mary’s Catholic High School, I wanted to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12 by organizing a prayer service in my room with my students. I had a satin image of Our Lady under her title of the Virgin of Guadalupe on a bulletin board in my room. The plan was to find roses and place them around the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Remember it was St. Juan Diego who gathered roses in his tilma in the dead of winter on Tepeyac Hill as the Blessed Mother directed him. When he went to the Archbishop of Mexico City to show him the roses in the month of December, the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared on the tilma. The tilma still exists today in Mexico City.
As we all know, roses are usually very expensive, so it was going to cost me quite a bit of money to pull off my plan. I went to the King’s House, a religious bookstore here in Phoenix, since I knew one of the ladies made fake roses for their gifts. In the end, that was too costly as well and would have taken lots of time, which I did not have since this idea came to me only days before December 12. One of the workers behind the counter suggested that I pray to St. Therese of the Little Flower since she loved Our Blessed Mother very much and would probably love to help me with my project. Being a bit of a skeptic (my name is Thomas), I initially did not take that advice. I arrived home to see if I could find roses online instead. After a few hours of frustration, I ended up praying to St. Therese. Hang onto your hats, because this gets good!
As I was praying to St. Therese, my office in my condo began to smell like roses…fresh cut roses!!! I kid you not!! The entire room smelled like roses!!! I did not have any potpourri nor did I have any plug-in scenters. To say the least – I freaked out!! I got up from my chair and started looking around the room. I finally said, okay, St. Therese…you have got me.
The next day I went back to the King’s House since someone (clear my throat) was pushing me back there. When I arrived, I told the workers my story. A young woman who was not there the previous day said that I should go to the Flower Emporium on 7th Street (very close to St. Mary’s too) since they will have beautiful faux flowers that will honor Our Blessed Mother without breaking my wallet. I walked into the emporium and found exactly the faux roses that I needed for my prayer service with my students. The prayer service went very well and my students reacted to the story I just told you in a positive way, although there were some skeptics. Probably serves me right since I was a skeptic originally. Since that year (2004), I have always asked for St. Therese’s intercession at times in my life.
I would encourage you to learn more about this great saint and Doctor of the Church.
St. Therese of the Child Jesus…Pray for Us!
Our Lady of the Rosary…Pray for Us!