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Friday, 30 September 2022 09:22

Thérèse of Lisieux Celebrated in Canada

A long-time partnership between the Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary and the Society of the Little Flower has been of great benefit to both. With a branch in the United States and a branch in Canada, the Society promotes devotion to St. Thérèse of Lisieux. She is also known by her religious name Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face.

For the saint's feast on October 1, thousands of people from around Canada are expected to visit the campus of the Monastery of Mount Carmel where the Canadian Society of the Little Flower is located. A variety of events and opportunities are scheduled so that members of the Society and friends of the Saint will spend the feast day in a prayerful way.

Due to the Covid pandemic, 2022 is the first celebration of the feast day on this scale since 2019.

The feast day features a blessing of roses in the beautiful monastery chapel. This is followed by a Mass celebrated in the gymnasium, with ample space to accommodate the crowds. Following the Mass, there will be a blessing of a new outdoor statue to St. Thérèse. The statue, a gift from the members of the Society, is made of Italian marble.

Following these formal events is an opportunity to enjoy the grounds as well time at the Shrine of Our Lady of Peace, a parish church with tradition of pilgrimage for peace dating back to the civil war in the nearby United States. The Our Lady of Peace community hosted the delegates and their families of the ABC Peace Conference to avert war between the United States and Mexico in 1914.

Relics of the French saint will also be accessible throughout the day in the main chapel of the monastery. Later in the day a second mass will be celebrated in the gymnasium.

Through prayers and donations, the Canadian friends of St. Thérèse are partners with the Carmelites, making a difference in people’s lives in Canada and throughout the world according to the Society’s website. Members of the Society join with the Carmelites in the ministries of the Gospel and the education of young men studying to be Carmelites, fulfilling Thérèse’s mission to “make God known and loved to the ends of the earth” in the most concrete ways of charity and justice.

The Society of the Little Flower continues to pay a significant portion of the costs of the Most Pure Heart of Mary Province’s formation program. Young men wanting to become Carmelites and ordained ministers in the Church study in four countries throughout the Americas: in the United States with pre-novitiate, novitiate, and theology program; in Mexico with a pre-novitiate program; a pre-novitiate and theology program in El Salvador; a pre-novitiate, novitiate, and theology program in Perú.

Just six years after the cause for sainthood of St. Thérèse was introduced in Rome, the Carmelites in Chicago conducted the first Little Flower Novena service at St. Cyril Church in 1912. One of the Carmelites, Fr. Albert Dolan, a renowned preacher and writer, introduced the Little Flower to millions. To ensure that the work would continue, he founded the Society of the Little Flower in 1923. Fr. Dolan’s work of promoting devotion to St. Thérèse and her spirituality of the spiritual childhood is continuing almost 100 years later.

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