A few weeks ago Maria and I attended a dinner party at the home of one of the ladies in our parish in honor of St. Therese. The woman had thought that because we loved St. Therese so much that we would like to meet a friend of hers, Paul Perrot, whose father had been cured of a childhood injury by St. Therese. We gladly accepted the invitation and eagerly anticipated hearing the story of the cure. Fr. Hamilton, a good friend of ours and a wonderful Catholic priest, was also invited to the dinner.
After some pleasant conversation over a glass of wine, Paul Perrot showed me an account of his father’s cure that was originally published in The Gesu, a bulletin of St. Joseph’s College dated April of 1915. The following is the exact letter regarding the cure written to the Superior of the Philadelphia Carmel, Mother Beatrix of the Holy Spirit, by Emile Perrot, Paul Perrot’s grandfather:
Reverend and Dear Mother:–
“The following is a narrative of what took place on Friday evening, December 4th, 1914 (the first Friday of December), at our home, 1405 N. 16th Street.
At about seven o’clock our smallest child, Paul John, two years and 10 months, was playing with his older brother in the house, when he tripped and fell, cutting his lower lip and the inside of his cheek on the right side, so that a piece of flesh of his cheek or tongue was hanging loose. The child was picked up by his little brother when the maid, a colored girl, took the child and held him until his mother arrived , which was almost immediately. Her first effort was to find the extent of the child’s injury and after examining his lip and mouth found the cheek or tongue badly lacerated or cut on the inside of the right cheek and his lower lip slightly cut. About this time I arrived home. I looked at the child’s mouth while he was still in his mother’s arms and saw the cut lip and lacerated cheek or tongue on the inside of his right cheek. Not knowing what to do I suggested that the baby be taken to a doctor, but before doing so, I took the child in my arms and approached near to the gas light to make sure of the extent of his injury, so as to determine whether a visit to the doctor would be necessary.
The cut lower lip and lacerated cheek or tongue with its loose piece of flesh was plainly visible to me, and I told my wife to get the child ready and I would take him in the automobile to the doctor. Immediately my wife carried the baby upstairs to dress him. I followed, when in our bedroom I thought of the relic of Sister Teresa of the Child Jesus, which I had and to which we had a devotion, the relic being a “piece of the curtain from the infirmary bed” of Sister Teresa which I obtained from your Sisters. I asked the baby to kiss it, which he did, and I also made the sign of the cross on his forehead with the relic, after which I returned it to the cardcase in which I carried it about my person.
We started with the child for the doctor’s but found at arriving at the office of our family physician that he was not at home. We were instructed by his maid to call on his assistant, Dr. J.B. Mencke of 16th Street below Girard Avenue. We took the child to Dr. Mencke and told what had happened. He took the child in his arms, to make him feel at home with him. After a few minutes he asked the child to open his mouth, which he did and to our surprise and that of the doctor’s the cheek was perfectly clear with no signs of a cut or bruise present: the lower lip, however, still had the little cut.
Mrs. Perrot and myself were amazed at the fact that the child had no cut inside his mouth and did not know what to say to the doctor in explanation. We were at first under the impression that we were deceived and that the child had something in his mouth which he had swallowed, and with that we started back home with the child. On arriving home the thought occurred to me that a miracle had been wrought, and that the child had been cut inside the cheek, and the application of the relic before going to the doctor had effected a cure.
We had not looked into his mouth after applying the relic, the doctor being the first one who saw inside his mouth thereafter. We said no other prayers nor invoked any other assistance before or after applying the relic.
In addition to my wife and myself seeing the lacerated cheek, the colored maid and two of the older children, Mary and Agnes by name, saw the wound, and all declare that they saw flesh hanging on the inside of the baby’s cheek.
The baby himself, after the cure, when asked where he had hurt himself, would point to the lower lip and to the inside of his mouth at the right side, which only corroborates our story. We, therefore, wish to make this public thanksgiving to Sister Teresa of the Child Jesus for what she has done for us and to encourage others to have recourse to her, knowing full well that Almighty God is pleased to favor those who have faith in Him and in His Saints.”
Emile G. Perrot
(The Gesu – St. Joseph’s College, Easter Number, April, 1915, Vol. XXI, No. 4, p. 24-25)
Needless to say I am very grateful to Paul Perrot giving me permission to share the story of his father’s childhood cure and for giving me a copy of the account. This cure took place in 1914 shortly after the Process of Canonization was opened for Therese and a full nine years before she was beatified and eleven years before she was canonized! St. Therese in the Shower of Roses after her death in 1897 performed countless such miracles, but it is great to hear a personal account of someone whose family experienced such a miracle.
We had a wonderful catered meal at the home of Jeannie Pegg that evening and enjoyed pleasant conversation about many Catholic topics, especially about St. Therese.