Today I have decided to begin a novena. This novena is special to me, personally, because it is a petition for prayers from one of my favorite saints (I know, I have many favorites, but this saint is special): St. Therese of Lisieux.
I have written about St. Therese before, here, and there is much to learn from this young saint. But for today, I am putting up a simple novena. I have chosen a simple one because St. Therese was all about the “little way.” Meaning, she knew that she was not able to complete grandstand acts of heroism and sacrifice. Most of us are not either. She was a cloistered nun, young and often dismissed or overlooked, even by her own sisters in the convent of Carmel. However, she knew that she could offer “little” acts of love. She strove to do even the smallest of things with great love, whether or not anyone ever saw them. Sound familiar? Yeah, our dear Mother Teresa has the same famous quote and heart for love. And you know, both of these women, on this track….they changed the world. You all know Mother Teresa and how she has made the world a better place and touched millions through her acts of love for the poorest of the poor. St. Therese of Lisieux has also influenced countless people by this concept of the “little way,” and I would argue, by her prayers on our behalf.
I cannot make any grand heroic sacrifice or gesture to help my girl get home, or to make sure the resolution and reporting of this TB culture moves along simply and smoothly and swiftly. Goodness knows, we’ve tried. And tried. And will not quit trying. I’m still ready to talk to Michelle Obama whenever she’s ready! So, since our big efforts haven’t helped at all….I will do what I can in a little way. I will pray. I will hit up a dear wonderful saint to pray for us. St. Therese died of TB. I think that is a connection that means something.
So brace yourself, you know what’s coming: nine days of novena posts. If you’re inclined to pray along with us (for our intention for Marta and the kids stuck in this tb cutlure mess and a special intention for a friend and/or for any of your own private intentions), then, by all means, join in! If you’re not interested…well, bear with me. I’ll post some of the usual prattling as well.
So, here we go!
Simple Novena to St. Therese of Lisieux :
The first Novena is easy, and is most dear to the Little Flower. It is the Twenty Four “Glory Be To the Father’s Novena and there is a little story attached with this one. In this fashion, from the ninth to the seventeenth of each month (although it can be said at any time), those who want to participate in this novena, should add to those of their own, the intentions of all who are at that time making the novena, thus forming one great prayer in common.
Father Putigan, a Jesuit priest, began the Novena to Saint Therese of the Child Jesus on December 3, 1925, asking the glorious Saint for one great favour. For nine days, he recited the “Glory Be” 24 times thanking the Holy Trinity for the favours and Graces showered on Saint Therese during the 24 years that she lived on this earth. The good father asked Saint Therese that as a sign that his novena was being heard, he would receive from someone a freshly plucked rose. On the third day of the novena, an unknown person sought out Father Putigan and presented him with a beautiful rose.
Father Putigan began the second novena on December 24 of the same year, and as a sign, asked for a white rose. On the fourth day of this novena, one of the Sister-nurses brought him a white rose, saying, “Saint Therese sent you this”
Amazed the priest asked “where did you get this?”
“I was in the chapel,” said the Sister, “and as I was leaving, I passed the alter above which hangs the beautiful picture of Saint Therese. This rose fell at my feet. I wanted to put it back in the bouquet, but a thought came to me that you should have it.”
The Twenty-four ‘Glory Be’s’ Novena to St. Therese
Father Putigan received the favours he had petitioned of the Little Flower of Jesus, and promised to spread the novena to increase devotion to, and bring her more honour. In this fashion, from the ninth to the seventeenth of each month, those who want to participate in the 24 Glory Be’s novena, should add to those of their own, the intentions of all who are at that time making the novena, thus forming one great prayer in common. This novena can be said at any time, however.
The Glory Be is said 24 times each day for nine days, in thanksgiving for all the blessings and favours given to Saint Therese of the Child Jesus during the 24 years of her life. Start the novena each day with this prayer:
“Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God, the Holy Spirit, I thank You for all the blessings and favours You have showered upon the soul of Your servant Therese of the Child Jesus, during the 24 years she spent here on earth, and in consideration of the merits of this, Your most beloved Saint, I beseech You to grant me this favour, if it is in accordance with Your most Holy Will and is not an obstacle to my salvation.”
After this prayer, follow with the 24 Glory Be’s, between each of which should be included this short prayer”
“Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.”
Original icon by Sr. Marie-Celeste Fadden, Carmel of Reno