On October 1, we celebrate the Feast of the Little Flower, St. Therese of
the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. That is her full name as a Religious Carmelite.
I was named after the Little Flower. At my Baptism on April 7, 1940, my
parents named me Teresa Marie and named the Little Flower as my Patroness.
I must confess that as a child I did not have much devotion to the Little
Flower. Actually, I didn't like her very much. Don't ask me why ... she certainly did not do anything
to me to warrant my disliking her. But since love is based on knowledge, I think I can attribute my not
liking her to my ignorance and stupidity. (I humbly ask her forgiveness now for not giving her signs of
affection and appreciation for so many years.)
But time and learning helps to wane disagreeableness, or at least it
would be a good thing, if it would. As an adult, I have traveled to so many places, visited so many
churches and convents, and have seen a statue of the Little Flower everywhere I go. That little Sister, so
quiet and unobtrusive in life on earth, is all over the place today. One cannot help but think of her when
she seems to be around every corner somehow, somewhere.
I call her "My little sister!" I have two reasons for doing so. First
of all, I am older than she. Therese died at the age of 24. I am more than twice her age at present.
Also, I weigh more than she did. From photos of her which I have seen, and because she died of the ravaging
disease of tuberculosis, Therese was not a physical heavyweight. I am! Therefore, I think I have
reason again, to call her "My little sister!"
That's how I pray to her now. I often call upon her with that name!
She had said before she died that she would spend her Heaven doing good on earth. I try to help her keep
her promise by keeping her busy answering my prayers.
The Little Flower's life and holiness is a reason for hope for all of
us. Therese never did great things that were apparent to the society in which she lived. She was not
known by thousands of people. She was never on television or radio. She was never a public figure. So how
did she achieve such great holiness?
Therese became a great saint by doing little things with great love for
God. Whether she washed clothes, swept the floor, sewed or counseled her novices, she did them
with GREAT LOVE for God.
She saved many souls that way. That is why Pope Pius XII named her
Patroness of the Missions though she never left her cloistered convent even once to visit any mission
Happy Feast Day, my little sister! As you are my patroness, I claim your
special attention and protection. Please obtain a special grace for everyone who reads this
Peace and good will to all! God bless you.