Anonymous guest post
(Yesterday’s guest post by Su Yam about venerating the relics of St. Thérèse in London prompted an American reader to send this account of her own encounter with the Little Flower.)
The year 2000 saw the arrival of the relics of St. Thérèse at a Carmelite monastery in a U.S. city within driving distance of our home. I asked my husband to take me; I told him it was the only thing I wanted for my birthday.
We were three hours away and my husband is a busy professional, but he did what he had to do in order to leave the office in time that day. We drove like the wind, arriving just as the veneration was scheduled to end. Being pregnant, I was quite emotional; tears were streaming from my face; and I was certain we would miss the veneration.
I needn’t have worried. There were still many ahead of us in line, so we found a place to rest until the line shortened. In the meantime, I bought a little trinket for the baby in the monastery gift shop: a tiny glass-bead rosary in a pink box with the image of a blond, blue-eyed girl on it. Back with my husband, I showed him the box and rosary. He said, “I guess you’ve decided the baby’s gender.” I already had four girls and just one boy—and was really hoping for another boy—so of course, that brought on a whole new wave of tears!
Finally, it was our turn. We approached the reliquary, knelt, prayed, and returned to the pew. After a few minutes, my husband asked me for the rosary, got back in line, and knelt once again at the reliquary, pressing the rosary against it. At that time, my husband was not yet Catholic. He was a non-baptized believer. It was quite a poignant moment.
Three months later, Madeline Thérèse was born—a blue-eyed blond, the only one of those that I have.
Seven years later, on January 3, the day between St. Therese’s birth and her baptism, my husband was baptized and confirmed in a hospital bed. When the priest asked him if he wanted to take the name of a saint, he said, without hesitation, “Thérèse.”
I don’t know what possessed me to seek St. Thérèse out. I had not yet read her Story of a Soul, and I really didn’t know anything about her. I just knew I had to see her.
And for those wondering—my husband did get out of the hospital, and a second boy did eventually arrive, almost six years ago.