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A saint’s relics return to Manila

ST. THÉRÈSE , her reliquary and the shrine built in her honor

Filipino devotees will welcome the relics of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux in December, and the blessed remains will be in the country until April 2013.

This is not the first time the relics of Saint Thérèse will visit the Philippines. The Military Ordinariate of the Philippines, the official host for this year’s visit, has hosted her twice before, in 2000 and in 2008, bringing her to different provinces. Her third visit to the country, where she will be visiting over 47 archdioceses and dioceses in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao, will be another meaningful one, especially now as Filipinos strive to stay faithful and hopeful in the face of calamities.

Many believe that through Saint Thérèse’s gracious intercession, God performs countless miracles like the healing of the sick, the provision of food and many others.

Born Marie-Françoise-Thérèse Martin on Jan. 2, 1873, Thérèse was the youngest child in a middle-class family living in the quiet community of Alençon, France. At a very young age, Thérèse wanted to become a Carmelite nun to serve God, despite the many household trials she has been through, including the death of her mother and her three sisters, the chronic illness of her father, and her isolation from her elder siblings who were pursuing the life in the Carmelite Convent.

In 1887, when the young Thérèse went with her father on a diocesan pilgrimage to Rome for the priestly jubilee of Pope Leo XIII, she approached the Holy Father, knelt, and asked him to allow her to enter Carmel at the age of 15. The Pope was reported to have said: “Well, my child, do what the superiors decide… You will enter if it is God’s Will,” and he blessed Thérèse. She, however, refused to leave his feet, and the Swiss Guard had to carry her out of the room.

ST. THERESE’S reliquary being venerated by devotees during its 2008 visit in the Philippines

On April 9, 1888, the Bishop of Bayeux finally authorized the prioress to receive Thérèse as a Carmelite postulant. At that point, though, nobody could have known that she would die from tuberculosis at 24 years of age. But, as it turns out, the brief time she had in the world was more than enough for her to inspire others with her submission to God’s ultimate wisdom.

From Thérèse, we should learn to be constant and committed when it comes to living out our faith.  Faith is more than just saying prayers or attending Mass. It requires a steadfast love for God and the courage to keep that bond strong through life’s obstacles.

To find out how you can help make the visit of the relics of St. Thérèse possible, please join the group 1000 Roses on Facebook or call 636MARY (6279) and look for Jinggay. For updates on the upcoming visit of the Relics of St. Therese, like the page www.facebook.com/ThereseRelicsPH, and follow @ThereseRelicsPH on Twitter. You may also visit www.Therese.ph for more information.

This is not the first time the relics of Saint Thérèse will visit the Philippines. The Military Ordinariate of the Philippines, the official host for this year’s visit, has hosted her twice before, in 2000 and in 2008, bringing her to different provinces. Her third visit to the country, where she will be visiting over 47 archdioceses and dioceses in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao, will be another meaningful one, especially now as Filipinos strive to stay faithful and hopeful in the face of calamities.


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