Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Relics of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux (January 2, 1873 – September 30, 1897), or Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, born Marie-Françoise-Thérèse Martin, was a French Carmelite nun. She is also known as "The Little Flower of Jesus" or simply, "The Little Flower". (from wiki - Admin)

The beautiful reliquary of St. Therese - containing some of her bones.
Taken inside the St. Andrew Cathedral.


(Text below was written and prepared by Deity Lim - Admin)

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For the third Philippine visit of the pilgrim relics of Saint Therese of Lisieux, who we also refer to as Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, the Diocese of Paranaque is blessed to have her at the St. Andrew Cathedral, La Huerta, Paranaque City from April 5, 2013 until the morning of April 7, 2013.

A farewell mass  was held at 5:30 AM today, officiated by St. Andrew Cathedral’s parish priest, Rev. Fr. Rolly Agustin, and his homily focused on her life and how it relates to the Year of Faith which the Catholic Church is presently observing.   Declared by Pope John Paul II in 1997 as a “Doctor of the Church” – the only Doctor of his pontificate – in tribute to the powerful way her spirituality has influenced people all over the world, her life of faith is what all Catholics should follow.  A LIFE OF FAITH is anchored on: BELIEFS as catechized by the Catholic Church, TRUST that it is the truth, and OBEDIENCE to follow.  This is what the expression of faith should be.

The homily also focused on God’s love for us through his DIVINE MERCY for all humanity.  In return, we need to open ourselves up to FORGIVENESS, RECONCILIATION and HEALING.

Rev. Fr. Rolly Agustin during his homily.

What was amazing is what Rev. Fr. Rolly mentioned, that both of her parents have been beatified, and all her siblings are on their way to beatification as well.  Saint Therese and her family led a holy life.

Life of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus:

Therese Martin was the last of nine children born to Louis and Zelle Martin on January 2, 1873, in Alencon, France.  However, only five of these children lived to reach adulthood.  Precocius and sensitive, Therese needed much attention.  Her mother died when she was 4 years old.  As a result, her father and sisters babied young Therese.  She had a spirit that wanted everything.

At the age of 14, on Christmas Eve in 1886, Therese had a conversion that transformed her life.  From then on, her powerful energy and sensitive spirit were turned toward love.  At 15, she entered the Carmelite convent in Lisieux to give her whole life to God.  She took the religious name Sister Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face.  Living a hidden, simple life of prayer, she was gifted with great intimacy with God.  Through sickness and dark nights of doubt and fear, she remained faithful to God, rooted in His merciful love.  After a long struggle with tuberculosis, she died on September 30, 1897, at the age of 24.  Her last words were the story of her life.  “My God, I love You!”

The world came to know Therese through her autobiography, “Story of Soul”.  She described her life as a “little way of spiritual childhood”.  She lived each day with an unshakable confidence in God’s love.  “What matters in life,” she wrote, “is not great deeds, but great love.”  Therese lived and taught a spirituality of attending to everyone and everything well and with love.  She believed that just as a child becomes enamored with what is before her, we should also have a childlike focus and totally attentive love.  Therese’s spirituality is of doing the ordinary, with extraordinary love.

Therese saw the seasons as reflecting the seasons of God’s love affair with us.  She loved flowers and saw herself as the “little flower of Jesus,” who gave glory to God by just being her beautiful little self among all the other flowers in God’s garden.  Because of this beautiful analogy, the title “little flower” remained with St. Therese.

Her inspiration and powerful presence from heaven touched many people very quickly.  She was canonized by Pope Pius XI on May 17, 1925.  Had she lived, she would have been only 52 years old when she was declared a Saint.

“My mission – to make God loved – will begin after my death,” she said.  “I will spend my heaven doing good on earth.  I will let fall a shower of roses.”  Roses have been described and experienced as Saint Therese’s signature.  Countless millions have been touched by her intercession and imitate her “little way.”  She has been acclaimed “the greatest saind of modern times.”  In 1997, Pope John Paull II declared St. Therese a Doctor of the Church – the only Doctor his pontificate – in tribute to the powerful way her spirituality has influenced people all over the world.

Prayer to Saint Therese of the Child Jesus

Glorious Saint Therese, whom Almighty God has raised up to aid and counsel mankind, I implore your Miraculous Intercession.  So powerful are you in obtaining every need of body and soul.  Our Holy Mother Church proclaims you a “Prodigy of Miracles … the Greatest Saint of Modern Times.”  Now I frequently beseech you to answer my petition (mention specifics here) and to carry out your promises of spending Heaven doing good upon the earth … of letting fall from Heaven a Shower of Roses.  Henceforth, dear Little Flower, I will fulfil your plea “to be made known everywhere” and I will never cease to lead others to Jesus through you.  Amen.

Update from The Philippine Star newspaper

For all devotees of Saint Therese who were unable to visit her at St. Andrew, her relics is set to arrive at the Shrine of St. Therese of the Child Jesus in Newport Boulevard, Pasay City (near Resorts World), at 5:30PM on April 11.  Here are the schedules:

April 11 - 5:30PM – Mass (to be presided by Bishop Leopoldo S. Tumulak). Veneration will follow until 10PM

April 13 – 6:00PM – anticipated Sunday Mass. Candlelight procession along the Villamor community.

April 14 – 5:00PM – farewell Mass. Tribute program.

April 14 – midnight – departure for Lisieux, France

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