"Angels are our special helpmates," Rosemary says, "but so are saints. St Therese, a favorite among Catholics, is often nicknamed "The Little Flower" because of her association with roses---she promised to send a shower of roses from heaven as a blessing, and a few days after she died, rose petals floated down from the ceiling of her convent chapel! Since then, people who ask her for help often receive a rose as a special signal of reassurance."
In June, 2000, Rosemary was praying in The Adoration Chapel of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, in Westerly, Rhode Island. "As I was praying, a thought popped into my head (I believe from St. Therese herself) to pray for all the missionary priests under her patronage. So I did," Rosemary says. "Surprisingly, as I left the chapel I stepped on something very small and hard---a single silver bead with a rose engraved on it. I smiled thinking, "Oh, St Therese, you don't have to thank me."
The following weekend, Rosemary went away on a religious retreat and continued to pray for the missionaries under St. Therese's patronage. After she returned home, she saw an ad for St. Therese's Rosebushes, being offered by a monastery. What a fun coincidence! Rosemary loves roses, so she ordered one for the back yard.
Instead of a rosebush, however, she received a letter from Sister Mary, a nun at the monastery. Rosemary had somehow misread the ad; the rose bushes were actually gifts for those who sponsored a missionary priest. The sponsor cost was $1500. Would Rosemary be interested?
"I laughed, and wrote back, explaining that I was a housewife and mom with no income of my own, and would not be able to sponsor a future priest, but that I would continue to pray for them," Rosemary explains. She thought that was the end of it-but St. Therese apparently had other ideas.
One of Rosemary's many hobbies is basket weaving. With the school year ending, she had thought about teaching children how to make baskets, and had already ordered some supplies. But as she and her own kids searched for students, they discovered that everyone seemed already programmed for summer activities. Frustrated, Rosemary sent up a prayer: "Please fill my classes this summer." As an afterthought she added: "If you do, I'll donate the money towards St. Therese's Rosebush!" Within 3 days, Rosemary began getting phone calls from mothers. Soon she had a list of fourteen students, more than ever before. But would they stay for the entire eight Saturday morning classes?
Rosemary didn't know, but the whole matter was in God's hands now. Excitedly, she wrote to Sister Mary, telling the nun what had happened and advising that she might be able to send a donation for sponsoring a priest after all. Not the full amount, of course, but every little bit helps, especially for missionaries. Sister Mary assured Rosemary that she could take as long as she needed to pay the sponsorship.
The kids all showed up for the first class, and Rosemary was able to send a check for $200 to Sister Mary. By now the two were old friends, and Sister was amazed, even more so when the children continued to come, and each week Rosemary continued to send the checks. By the time of the last class, Rosemary had paid off her rosebush---and was the inspiration of the entire monastery. "I am thrilled to see HOW the Lord has worked!" Sister Mary wrote, and Rosemary responded with photographs of her students weaving and displaying their beautiful baskets.
"There must be a very special future missionary priest out there, that needed to be sponsored," Rosemary says, "and St. Therese brought him to us." She hopes someday they'll meet, but if not, her rosebush will serve as a wonderful reminder.
Since many have requested by emails and through phone the prayes of St. Therese, the same link is given below, you can click the link for full prayers of St.Therese
| Opening Prayers|
St. Therese, beloved friend, you promised to spend your heaven doing good upon earth. We come before you in our need. We believe that you listen to us and approach God for and with us. You are love in the heart of the Church. You are love in the heart of God. Please accept these petitions, hopes, needs, and dreams I list below. Please present them to our Loving Father so that God may do what is best for us, for our loved ones, and for the fulfillment of God's Kingdom. Continue your shower of roses in our lives. We ask you, dear friend, with the bold confidence and loving surrender you taught us. We make this prayerful petition in the name of Jesus and through the power of His Spirit.
Pray the Little Flower Novena for nine consecutive days