Today is the Feast Day of St. Therese, the ‘greatest saint of modern times’. It is such a joyful day for the millions of those around the world who have read The Story of A Soul and who are devoted to her.
Did any of you celebrate St. Therese’s Feast Day in a special way that you would like to share? Have you prayed any novenas to St. Therese or prayed any special prayers that you would like to share? Please leave a comment on the blog or you can write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. My wife, Maria, cooked a special French meal and dessert and we celebrated at home with some family members. At the meal we made a toast to St. Therese for the influence that she has had on our lives. The fire in the woodburning stove helped stave off the Fall chill in the air.
Why is this Feast Day so important to so many people? Blessed Pope John Paul II on a pilgrimage to Lisieux in 1980 revealed the reason that Therese has had such an impact on the world. In front of the Basilica dedicated to St. Therese in Lisieux he said in front of 100,000 people: “Of Therese of Lisieux, one can say with conviction that the Spirit of God let her heart reveal directly to the men and women of our day the fundamental mystery, the fundamental reality of the Gospel: the fact that we have really received ‘a spirit of adoption which makes us cry out: Abba! Father!’ The little way is the way of ‘holy childhood’. In that way, there is both confirmation and renewal of the most fundamental and most universal truth. What truth of the Gospel message is indeed more fundamental and more universal than this: God is our Father and we are his children?” (The Story of A Life, p. 217)
In a similar vein, Fr. Combes, an expert on St. Therese, “believed Sister Therese of the Child Jesus of the Holy Face had brought about ‘one of the greatest spiritual revolutions that the Holy Spirit has set in motion in the evolution of mankind. A silent and hidden revolution with innumerable fruits’. Fr. Molinie, a Dominican theologian, was of the opinion that ‘we had to wait for Therese of the Child Jesus to rediscover a movement of spirituality on a planetary scale which had all the fullness to fit exactly the dimensions of the Gospel’. (The Story of A Life, p. 214)
St. Therese said that she wanted to spend her heaven doing good on earth. She continues to impact our world through conversions, and miracles, and inspiration to this very day. How long will her influence continue? Therese herself answers this question for us. “Yes, I want to spend my life doing good on earth. I do not want to rest as long as there are souls to save. But when the angel says: ‘Time is no more’, then I will take my rest.” (The Story of A Life, p. 218)
Happy Feast Day of St. Therese!