Close encounters of the saintly kind

October 1, 2022 | saints

On this Feast of St. Thèrése of Lisieux, I thought I’d share my close encounter with this beloved saint. I was never a big fan of St. Thèrése. I didn’t have anything against her; I just didn’t connect with the Little Flower in a special way. That all changed one January day in 2015. I was going to Christ the King Retreat House in Syracuse to lead a women’s retreat, and as I got in the car to drive two hours west, I said a prayer to St. Thèrése almost out of desperation. I was in a bad place and needed some help. Pronto. I still don’t know why I settled on this particular saint that day, when I had never prayed to her before. For some reason, she popped into my head. I asked for a sign that she’d taken up my intention and, as we all know, roses are the typical sign people report receiving after praying to the Little Flower.
A few hours later, I set down my bags in my room at the retreat house. I was tired, I was cranky, and I needed to unpack and get ready to be “on” for the group. I opened the closet door to hang up my clothes. There I was greeted by four enormous bouquets of red velvet roses. (You can see two of them in the photo here.) She works fast, and is pretty showy for a Little Flower. I often forget that she did this for me. So today, on her feast, I’ll send a message of gratitude to her for that long-ago gift and ask for nothing in return. How refreshing and unusual for me! Have you had a close encounter with this saint?

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