The feast of St. Therese, the Little Flower, is celebrated by the Church on October 1st each year, since Therese died on September 30th.
Following the ancient custom of celebrating their entrance into heaven the next day, October 1st was chosen as the day to celebrate Therese’s life and eternity, explains www.littleflower.org, the site of the Society of the Little Flower, dedicated to spreading devotion to St. Therese of Lisieux.
To recall better this loved saint, Zenit has brought you from its archives Pope Benedict’s reflection on the saint on April 6, 2011. Both Benedict and Francis are known to have a great affinity for Therese. In addition, courtesy of ‘The Little Flower’ website, as well, Zenit has brought our readers some prayers:
Prayers for St. Therese’s intercession, courtesy of the www.LittleFlower.org
Feast Day Novena Prayer
(This prayer is used by the Carmelites during the Feast Day Novena)
St. Therese, Flower of fervor and love, please intercede for us.
Fill our hearts with your pure love of God.
As we approach and celebrate your feast day,
make us more aware of the goodness of
God and how well He tends His garden.
Instill in us your little way of doing
ordinary things with extra-ordinary love.
Give us the heart of a child who wonders
at life and embraces everything with loving enthusiasm.
Teach us your delight in God’s ways
so that divine charity may blossom in our hearts.
Little Flower of Jesus, bring our petitions
(mention in silence here)
before God, our Father.
With your confidence, we come before Jesus
as God’s children,
because you are our heavenly friend.
As we celebrate the Feast Day of your
homecoming in heaven,continue to
shower roses and grace upon us.
My Novena Rose Prayer
O Little Therese of the Child Jesus, please pick for me a rose
from the heavenly gardens and send it to me as a message of love.
O Little Flower of Jesus, ask God to grant the favors
I now place with confidence in your hands . .
(mention in silence here)
St. Therese, help me to always believe as you did in
God’s great love for me, so that I might imitate your “Little Way” each day.
Miraculous Invocation to St. Therese
O Glorious St. Therese,
whom Almighty God has raised up to aid
and inspire the human family,
I implore your Miraculous Intercession.
You are so powerful in obtaining every need
of body and spirit from the Heart of God.
Holy Mother Church proclaims you “Prodigy of Miracles…
the greatest saint of Modern Times.”
Now I fervently beseech you to answer my petition
(mention in silence here)
and to carry out your promises of
spending heaven doing good on earth…
of letting fall from Heaven a Shower of Roses.
Little Flower, give me your childlike faith,
to see the Face of God
in the people and experiences of my life,
and to love God with full confidence.
St. Therese, my Carmelite Sister,
I will fulfill your plea “to be made known everywhere”
and I will continue to lead others to Jesus through you.
[Prayers Courtesy of www.LittleFlower.org]
FROM ZENIT’S ARCHIVES:
Benedict Speaks of Richness Found in Spirituality of St. Thérèse
VATICAN CITY, APRIL 6, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI today focused the general audience on a saint he says is one of the “best known and loved”: the 19th century Carmelite, St. Thérèse of Lisieux.
The Pope noted that her “little way” has been a spiritual aid for simple souls and the poor, as well as for the whole Church, to the extent that Venerable Pope John Paul II named her a doctor of the Church in 1997. It was the Polish Pontiff who said she was an “expert in the scientia amoris.”
Benedict XVI reflected that Thérèse expresses this science above all in her autobiography, “Story of a Soul.”
“I would like to invite you to rediscover this little-great treasure, this luminous commentary on the Gospel fully lived,” he recommended. “‘Story of a Soul,’ in fact, is a marvelous history of Love, recounted with such authenticity, simplicity and freshness, before which the reader cannot but be fascinated!”
“But, what was this Love that filled Thérèse’s whole life, from her childhood to her death?” he asked. “Dear friends, this Love has a Face, it has a Name, it is Jesus! The saint spoke continually of Jesus.”
Trust and love
The Holy Father went on to consider the various stages of the saint’s short life on earth. He also highlighted her devotion to sacred Scripture and the Eucharist.
He noted how she read the Bible “nourished by the science of love,” which he said “is not opposed to academic science.”
“The science of the saints, in fact, […] is the highest science,” the Bishop of Rome asserted, citing Thérèse’s affirmation that it was through prayer that great scholars such as Augustine and Aquinas obtained “this divine science that fascinates the greatest geniuses.”
Thérèse’s devotion to the Eucharist, the Pope said, cast out fear.
“I cannot fear a God who for me has made himself so small! (…) I love him! In fact, he is none other than Love and Mercy,” he quoted.
The Bishop of Rome emphasized trust and love as hallmarks of Thérèse’s life.
“Thus,” he said, “Thérèse indicates to all of us that Christian life consists in living fully the grace of baptism in the total gift of self to the Love of the Father, to live like Christ, in the fire of the Holy Spirit, his very love for others.”
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On ZENIT’s Web page:
Full text: www.zenit.org/article-32249?l=english