In honor of the pilgrimage of the relics of St. Therese and of her parents, Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin, and if the visit of Pope Francis o Ireland in connection with the World Meeting of Families, I have created a photo gallery, "The World of Saint Therese and Her Family," to offer you a visual experience of the concrete reality of their lives on earth, during which they became holy. It contains more than 350 photos, many, from my visit to France in May, never published before. Arranged in chronological order, these images illustrate the story of their lives from the birth of St. Louis in 1823 until the canonization of the Martin spouses in 2015. I thank the Shrine at Alencon and the Web site of the Archives of the Carmel of Lisieux. If you enjoy it, please help me spread the word. Thank you. The above shows highlights of the first part of the photo gallery. To see the gallery, click the photo below:
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October 13, 2009: In honor of the visit of the relics of St. Therese of Lisieux to Great Britain and of "Little Way Week" (October 18-24 in Great Britain), I am posting an audio in two parts of my conference "A Map of St. Therese's Way of Confidence and Love" for personal use until October 24, 2009. I invite visitors from around the world to join in solidarity with the Church in Great Britain in observing "Little Way Week," which begins on World Mission Sunday.
The conference is copyright 2009 by Maureen O'Riordan and all rights are reserved; please do not download it or reproduce it, but feel free to listen to it here. Each part is less than half an hour.
On the feast of St. Therese I rejoice with the people of Great Britain in all the graces they are receiving during the "reverse pilgrimage" of the relics of St. Therese and with the friends of St. Therese all over the world. May I ask two feast-day favors of my readers?
First, on October 12 the reliquary will visit the Wormwood Scrubs prison in London. The Catholic Herald reports that inspectors recently found that the prison had deteriorated and that gang activity had increased. Will you please join in prayer with and for the prisoners and ask God to permit the visit of the reliquary of St. Therese to open a new era of nonviolence for everyone associated with the prison? I invite you all to join in "days of solidarity" between Therese's feast and October 12, and to pray fervently before and during the visit that it will be a turning point in the spiritual history of the prison.
Second, I ask your prayers for a personal intention: the healing of my sister, who is seriously ill.
May we celebrate St. Therese not only by admiring her but also by casting ourselves, as she did, into "the abysses of love and mercy of the Heart of Jesus."
God is working miracles in England through the "reverse pilgrimage" of the relics of St. Therese, who died 112 years ago this evening. Something like 6,500 "little souls" venerated the relics at the Lancaster Cathedral. Please see the bishops' blog for the tour of the relics for powerful stories. Commenting on the many ill and elderly who struggled through the uncertainties of rural transport to pray before the relics, the national blog of the Catholic Church adds:
"At the same time, there is a sense that Therese has acted as a catalyst, allowing Catholics the opportunity to congregate, enjoy each other’s company, pray together and to ‘be Church’ in a unique way. There is a feeling of having had the opportunity to reclaim Catholic heritage, regardless of potential misunderstanding and criticism from outsiders … and to everybody’s surprise, the result has been amazingly positive and supportive from even the most unlikely media quarters. Believers and unbelievers will be left with a memory of a very special togetherness, a moment catalysed by the bones of a young Carmelite nun who died a century ago."
Please also see the beautiful photos and moving text from the Lancaster Cathedral blog for the visit. The relics are now at St. Andrew's Church in Newcastle; on the feast tomorrow they will be at the Anglican Cathedral, York Minster. Let's pray "that all may be one."
The relics of St. Therese arrived in England on September 16. Thousands have venerated them at Portsmouth, Plymouth, Taunton, Birmingham, Cardiff, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester, and Salford. On Monday, September 28, they will arrive in Lancaster. Click for many news stories about the reception of the relics and for the blog set up by the bishops so you can follow the relics from one church to the next. Please join all the friends of St. Therese in praying that God will bless the people of Great Britain with healing and peace and will plant the gospel in many hearts during this visit, fulfilling Therese's desire "to love Jesus and to make Him loved."