Saturday, 10 October 2009

Have you ever ripped the wallpaper?

Extracts from Fr Tony Parson’s homily; the Parish Priest of St Joseph’s, Gerrards Cross

Why did he ask the congregation this question you might ask?
Well, so many of us in our childhood days might have ripped the wallpaper and never own up to it, but not St Therese. As soon as she had done it, she ran to her mother and stood waiting for her punishment. Her mother asked her to ‘wait until her father’ came home. And when he did, the punishment never came…all had been forgotten. But St Therese went up to her beloved father to let him know what she had done; she didn’t want to hide anything from him.

This is a wonderful illustrative example of St Therese’s honesty and openness; she likes to hide nothing.

A nightmare coming my way
When I first heard that we had been graciously granted the permission to hold this special event, my heart was mixed, because although joyful, I was also panicking….I didn’t know what to expect.

Here is a nightmare coming my way. It’s my wee sister in Christ….

Therese obviously got you here for a reason – she got you all in
You can spend your special time with this special person.

Special titles
She was given all these special titles; Doctor of the Church in 1997, she was canonized a saint because she always wanted to be a saint. There’s lots of things – she is Patroness of the Missions as well – if this had been given to any other saint it would probably have created a big huge distance between us – but not with Therese because in many ways as a saint she is a person who is always looking out for us; a person who also wanted us to enjoy the fullness of God’s presence in our lives. And that is why she said consistently; that she wanted to spend her heaven doing good upon earth.

Simple, but not easy
We hear how simple she is, but that doesn’t mean her life was easy. Simplicity and easiness are two different things. In her simplicity, her prayer became stronger and stronger.

To pray for another human person is a worthy cause
Intercessory prayer is prayer from the heart. It’s a worthy cause and it’s what God wants.

As I look out here today; the whole mixture – the believer, the unbeliever, the sick, the healthy, the young and the old – everyone of us has their own personal story; we are called to be unique in our relationship with God. We are not called to be Therese, but ourselves. We break out of that through the power of intercessory prayer; it helps us to bring people to mind – the Church, the world – a life worth living.

Very special that the relics have touched the soil of the Diocese of Northampton
Bishop Peter Doyle’s concluding words:
‘It’s very special as Bishop that the relics have touched the soil of the Diocese of Northampton. Perhaps we could pray that we may have the same confidence and the same conversation; the same connection that Therese has and had with God.’

We ask that our hearts be open to the love of the Lord
The Bishop of Northampton, Peter Doyle, at the opening Mass:
‘It’s an amazing privilege to be here with all of you.
‘We come to gather on pilgrimage to venerate the relics of St Therese and to ask her prayers; that like her, each of our hearts may be open to the love of the Lord. And that with her we may, by our love, form part of the heart of the Church.‘

More than 2000 pilgrims
1000 beakers of tea/coffee consumed before evening Mass
1000 slices of cake
600 rolls
Roses sold out within an hour and a half
12 coaches from Aylesbury, Bedfordshire, Northampton, Wellingborough, Luton, Tring and Watford.
Police say: ‘the best event for organisation.’
‘Football dads’ carry reliquary to the hearse

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Talks by Fr Stephen Wang

Visit the official website for three talks on St Therese by Fr Stephen Wang.

Fr Stephen looks at her life, conversion, faith and understanding of love.

Fr Stephen Wang

Talk One: St Therese: Life and Conversion - Part 1 and 2

Talk Two: Her Faith - Part 1 and 2

Talk Three: Her Understanding of Love - Part 1 and 2

Friday, 2 October 2009

Friday, 25 September 2009

North Filton, Bristol

The homily from Wednesday evening's Mass and a slide show can be found
by clicking here

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Looking ahead to the visit of the relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux to England and Wales from Catholic Church (England/Wales) on Vimeo.

In this short video, we speak to Bishop Malcolm McMahon, Bishop of Nottingham and Patron of the Visit of the Relics, Leonora from Youth 2000 (a Catholic Youth organisation), and Sister Patricia Mary of Jesus (who belongs to the same Order, the Carmelites, that St Thérèse belonged to).

The music in the video was written and recorded especially for the visit of the relics of St Thérèse by Mike Stanley.

Production: Catholic Agency to Support Evangelisation (CASE)

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

An Unpetaled Rose

First, Jesus, Mary's hands
made sure you didn't fall:
Then on your own,
You tried, on our sad earth,
shakily first of all
To walk alone . . .
Before You, I would break
the petals off a rose
Fresh from the bower -
So that each little foot
of yours, that forward goes
Rests on a flower! . . .

This rose,
un-petaled now,
is, Holy Child! that heart
(the figure's true)
Which wants to immolate
itself - in every part,
Always, for You.
Fresh altar-roses, Lord,
are gratified to shine -
Self-gifts we see! -
Instead of that
I would
(this other dream is mine)
Un-petal me . . .

Delightful Child! the rose
can deck Your Feast-days when
It's at its height.
The rose,
unpetaled though -
thrown to the wind's will, then
Blown out of sight!
That rose gives up itself -
all artless - that it may
No longer live.
Child Jesus! I, to You
give myself up that way -
Joyously give!

Upon such petals then
one walks without regret:
and their debris
Are ornaments by no
deliberation set -
This now I see.
For You, I've strewn my life -
my future, with what's gone:
To mortal eye,
A rose that always will
be withered from now on,
I ought to

Supremely lovely Child!
for You I ought to die -
Happily too!
I'll die to show You I,
un-petaled, love You . . . my
Treasure is You . . .
Beneath Your baby steps
I'll live, while here below,
In mystery:
I'll soften, too, Your steps -
Your last ones, those that go
To Calvary!


Translation by Alan Bancroft

From Collected Poems of St Therese of Lisieux, Gracewing 2001

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

National Prayer for the Visit to England and Wales

God our Father, you reveal to us the depth of your love
in the holy face of Jesus Christ your Son.
As we honour St Therese of the Child Jesus
may we have the confidence and love
to stand fully in the light of your presence
so that the beauty of the Gospel may expand our hearts
and open us to the gifts of your Holy Spirit.
We make this prayer through Christ our Lord.

Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us.
St Therese, Patroness of the Missions, pray for us.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

With confidence and love

Yes, I feel it; even though I had on my conscience all the sins that can be committed, I would go, my heart broken with sorow, and throw myself into Jesus' arms, for I know how much He loves the prodigal child who returns to Him. It is not because God, in His anticipating Mercy, has preserved my soul from mortal sin that I go to Him with confidence and love.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

The Holy Face

This chasuble was painted by St Therese.
The lilies represent her family
(the closed flowers representing her
brothers and sisters who died in childhood).

O adorable Face of Jesus, the only Beauty that captivates my heart, deign to imprint in me your Divine Likeness so that you may not behold the soul of your little bride without seeing Yourself in her. O my Beloved, for love of you, I accept not seeing here below the gentleness of your Look nor feeling the ineffable kiss of your mouth, but I beg you to inflame me with your love so that it may consume me rapidly and soon bring me into your presence.

Monday, 10 August 2009

A Novena

O St Theresa of the Child Jesus, who during your short life on earth became a mirror of angelic purity, of love strong as death, and of wholehearted abandonment to God,

Make my troubles your own, speak on my behalf to Our Lady Immaculate, "who smiled on you at the dawn of life".

Beg her powerful intercession for the grace I yearn for so ardently at this moment (
here name your request) and that she join with it a blessing that may strengthen me during life, defend me at the hour of death, and lead me to a happy eternity. Amen.

O God, who did inflame with the Spirit of Love, the soul of your servant Theresa of the Child Jesus, grant that we also may love and make You much loved. Amen.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

My vocation is Love

Considering the mystical body of the Church, I had not recognised myself in any of the members described by St Paul, or rather I desired to see myself in them all. Charity gave me the key to my vocation. I understood that if the Church had a body composed of different members, the most necessary and most noble of all could not be lacking to it, and so I understood that the Church had a Heart and that this Heart was burning with Love. I understood it was Love alone that made the Church's members act, that if Love ever became extinct, apostles would not preach the Gospel and martyrs would not shed their blood. I understood that Love comprised all vocations, that Love was everything, that it embraced all times and places . . . in a word, that it was eternal!

Then in the excess of my delirious joy, I cried out: O Jesus, my Love, my vocation, at last I have found it . . . my vocation is Love!

Yes, I have found my place in the Church and it is You, O my God, who have given me this place; in the heart of the Church, my Mother, I shall be Love.

Most loving Father,
you were pleased to give
St Therese of the Child Jesus
a trusting spirit of childhood
and surrender to your will
in every circumstance of life;
help us to follow in the path
of simplicity she traced for us.
May we go forward in peace,
accepting the challenge of life
with courage, and walking
faithfully along the way
of the gospel.

Help us to realise that we too
are called to live a life of love
to the glory of your name
and the spread of your Kingdom.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

A shower of roses

"My mission - to make God loved - will begin after my death. I will spend my heaven doing good on earth. I will let fall a shower of roses."
St Therese

Saturday, 25 July 2009


Click here to read stories of intercessions
with St Therese

O divine Sun!
I am happy to feel so small and weak in thy presence,
and my heart is at peace.

St Therese

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Daily Offering

My God, I offer you all that I do today
for the intentions and the glory
of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
I want to sanctify every beat of my heart,
my thoughts and my simplest works
by uniting them to his infinite merits.
I want to repair for my faults
by casting them into the furnace of his merciful love.

O my God!
I ask you for myself and for those dear to me
the grace to fulfill perfectly your holy will
and to accept for love of you
the joys and sorrows of this passing life
so that one day we may be reunited in Heaven
for all eternity,

Saturday, 18 July 2009

The Power of Prayer

How great is the power of Prayer! One could call it a Queen who has at each instant free access to the King and who is able to obtain whatever she asks. To be heard it is not necessary to read from a book some beautiful formula composed for the occasion. If this were the case, alas, I would have to be pitied! Outside the Divine Office which I am very unworthy to recite, I do not have the courage to force myself to search out beautiful prayers in books. There are so many of them it really gives me a headache! and each prayer is more beautiful than the others. I cannot recite them all and not knowing which to choose, I do like children who do not know how to read, I say very simply to God what I wish to say, without composing beautiful sentences, and He always understands me. For me, prayer is an aspiration of the heart, it is a simple glance directed to heaven, it is a cry of gratitude and love in the midst of trial as well as joy; finally, it is something great, supernatural, which expands my soul and unites me to Jesus.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

A hidden treasure

The church of the Carmel in Lisieux

Jesus is a
hidden treasure, an inestimable good which few souls can find, for it is hidden, and the world loves what sparkles. Ah! if Jesus had willed to show Himself to all souls with His ineffable gifts, no doubt there is not one of them that would have that would have despised Him. However, He does not will that we love Him for His gifts. He Himself must be our reward. To find a hidden thing one must hide oneself; our life must then be a mystery. We must be like Jesus, Jesus whose face was hidden.

Friday, 10 July 2009

O Little Flower of Jesus

O Little Flower of Jesus,
From the very first moment of your religious life you thought only of denying yourself in all things so as to follow Jesus perfectly; help me to bear patiently the trials of my daily life. Teach me to make use of the trials, the sufferings, the humiliations, that come my way, to learn to know myself better and to love God more. Amen.

A Vocation

At the age of 15, Therese tells her father of her vocation and asks him for permission to enter Carmel. This statue can be found in the garden of Les Buissonnets, Lisieux.

* * * * *
I was to pass through many trials but the divine call was so strong that had I been forced to pass through flames, I would have done it out of love for Jesus.

O Heart of Jesus, treasure of tenderness,
You Yourself are my happiness, my only hope.
You who knew how to charm my tender youth,
Stay near me till the last night.
Lord, to you alone I've given my life,
And all my desires are well-known to you.
It's in your ever-infinite goodness
That I want to lose myself, O Heart of Jesus!

Friday, 3 July 2009

Leading us to God in the New Millenium

Therese Martin was born at Alencon, France, on 2nd January, 1873. Entering the Carmelite Monastery at Lisieux at the age of 15, she took the name sister Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. She died on 30th September 1897, loving with a heart as big as the world itself. "I'm not dying, I'm entering into Life."

Canonized in 1925, she was declared Patroness of the Missions in 1927, and a Doctor of the Church in 1997.