When in Manila, a welcome mass for the 3rd visit of the pilgrim relics of St Therese of the Child Jesus was held at the Shrine dedicated to her at Newport Blvd., Pasay last December 15,2012 ( 05:30pm local time)
Devotees eagerly waited for her return. The first visit was in the Great Jubilee Year of 2000, where the relics had a pilgrimage to the death row cells of 33 men sentenced to be executed by capital punishment. Next was in year 2008, where Filipinos had a heartfelt occasion of renewal and intensification of faith during the relics’ 2 month visit to the country.
And now, we have the privilege of welcoming the relics once again! This time is an exciting, bigger, bolder line up of a 4 month tour that will include visits to more than 48 archdioceses and dioceses of the Roman Catholic Church all over the Philippines. The theme for this year’s visit is “Witnessing Christ Through the Little Way of St. Therese.”
The relics came from the Basilica of St. Therese in Lisieux, France. At 03:00 pm local time, it landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal I aboard Etihad Airways. It was welcomed by The Military Ordinariate of the Philippines, led by Bishop Leopoldo Tumulak and was taken in a convoy to Kalayaan Hall in Villamor Airbase, from which a procession accompanied it to the aforementioned St. Therese Shrine.
There was a shower of red and white rose petals to formally welcome the relics as it entered the shrine. Roses have been described and experienced as Saint Therese’s signature. Millions of people have attested that they either see or smell roses, a sign that she intercedes before God for our deepest prayers.
Recounting her words: “After my death, I will let fall a shower of roses. I will spend my heaven doing good upon earth. I will raise up a mighty host of little saints. My mission is to make God loved…”
Can I just share to you how it feels to be inside the shrine at this precise moment? It was pure overflowing love! Half-teary eyed, it gave me goosebumps and an unexplained emotion to be blessed to have witnessed such event. All these has the makings of such a sweet memoir.
Marie-Françoise-Thérèse Martin greatly desired to enter the Carmelite Convent in Lisieux, France at a very young age of 14. Despite the Bishop’s opposition, she whispered her deepest desire to Pope Leo XIII. With child-like audacity, she embraced the Pope’s leg tightly which urged the papal guards to intervene. They lifted and dragged Little Therese to the exit. The Vicar General of the Carmelite monastery witnessed her courageous act and was impressed. Soon, Therese was admitted to the Carmelite convent at 15 years of age.
Life in a monastery is difficult. She experienced coldness, rudeness, gossip and insults. She was accused of breaking a vase when it was not her fault, instead she just fell on her knees and begged for forgiveness. She was often given the worst leftovers, to which she ate without complaining. She had left behind the comforts of her loving home, to dedicate sacrificial love towards those around her.She took every chance to sacrifice, no matter how small it would seem.
These small sacrifices are her own “Little Way”, a means of going to heaven which is very short and straight. A way of spiritual childhood, that of absolute trust and surrender to Him. She found support in the Scripture, “Unless you become like little children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 18,3)
After the mass, people lined up to venerate the relic. The people that came to touch the relic — it was unbelievable. It was beautiful.
Having personally experienced this, I can say hands down to the very impressive widespread devotion of Filipinos towards St. Therese of the Child Jesus! She is definitely one of the most popular saints of the twentieth century.
Relics are material remains of a saint or holy person after death ( includes skin and bones, clothing) , as well as objects sanctified by contact with his body.
The Reliquary of St. Therese is made from precious scented jacaranda hardwood from South America. The main case, is a solid silver case, dipped in gold.
“In spite of my littleness, I would like to enlighten souls as did the Prophets and the Doctors. I have the vocation of the Apostle. I would like to travel over the whole earth… I would be a missionary.”
Be one of the 1000 ROSES (Relics of St. Therese Empowered Supporters) and help St. Therese of the Child Jesus’ message of hope and love reach as many Filipinos and devotees as possible from December 15, 2012 to April 15, 2013.
For as little as P33 pesos as day or P1000 pesos a month for 5 months, you can help propagate devotion to this beloved Saint, inspire people to follow in her Little Way and bring them closer to God.
As a ROSE for St Therese, you will receive:
- A special chaplet for the novena to St. Therese
- A special invitation to the Welcome Mass for the Relics of St. Therese
- A special invitation to the Farewell Mass for the Relics of St. Therese
- A commemorative car sticker
- A chance to help spread the message of love and faith of St. Therese
Please view and share the full schedule and itinerary of the 3rd Philippine Visit of the Pilgrim Relics of St. Therese of the Child Jesus!
3rd Visit of the Pilgrim Relics of St. Therese to the Philippines Dec 15, 2012 + An Invitation to be one of the 1000 R.O.S.E.S