Holy, Holy Relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux.
Story By Uncle Monty.
Photos By Alex Albion.
It marked Britain’s outstanding religious event of the
decade, I do believe, when the arrival and tour of the
Holy, Holy Relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux, the famous
French Carmelite nun, took place with great fanfare and
open excitement among hundreds of thousands of faithful
people of both Catholic and non-Catholic dispensation.
I was moved by the scene I saw and by what I
But in order to add some flesh and blood, if you will,
to such a saintly person, it is appropriate to read here
some of the condensed reference to the life and times
of St Thérèse of Lisieux, that is so ably presented by
Professor F. L. Cross in the 1961 edition of The Diction-
ary of the Christian Church. I have, therefore, included
the professor’s own words to best illustrate her religious
background and conviction that was long well-known
before the first eventual arrival of her holy, holy relics
to the British Isles at this 2oo9 autumn of our’s.
The Exquisite Reliquary of St. Thérèse.
St. Thérèse Herself.
TERESA OF LISIEAX, (1873-97) St. Carmelite nun.
The youngest daughter of Louis Martin, a devout watchmaker
of Alençon, she was drawn towards religious perfection at an
early age. In spite of opposition, she obtained permission
to enter the Carmelite convent at Lisieux at the age of 15.
She was professed in 1890, and was assistant novice-mistress
from 1893. In 1896 she was prevented from joining the
Carmelites in China by a series of haemorrhages.
She died of tuberculosis on 30 Sept, 1897.
Officiating At The Holy Relics:
Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster.
At the command of her superiors she wrote her autobiography,
L’Historìre d’une âme. The spread of her fame was largely due
to the decision of the prioress to circulate a revised edition of
this, together with details of her death, to all Carmelite houses.
Miracles of healing and prophecy were soon reported in suffi-
cient number to realize her promise, ‘Je vais faire tomber un
torrent de roses’. By 1907 an account of them was appended
to her biography, notes Professor Cross.
Proceeding for her beatification was initiated in the court of
Bayeax in 1910 and moved to Rome in 1918, her cause being
exempted from the fifty years’ delay imposed by Canon Law.
Some Carmelmite Nuns of today's 21st Century.
On 25 April, 1923, her beatification was porclaimed by
Pius XI and her bones solemnly translated to the convent.
On 17 May, 1925, she was canonized under the name of
‘Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face’.
Her feast is kept 3 Oct.
The professor's reference adds: Owing to the continued
increase in the number of pilgrims of all nations, it was
decided in 1926 to erect a large basilica at Lisieux. The
popularity of her cult was largely due to her appeal to the
ordinary people of her age, to whom her life showed that
the attainment of sanctity was practicable, not only
through extreme mortification, but through
continual renunciation in small matters.
She (St. St Thérèse) is popularly known in England as
‘The Little Flower from the subtitle of her autobiography.
In 1929, Pius XI named her patroness of foreign missions
and all works directed to Russia. In1947 she joined with
Joan of Arc as patroness of France.
Visitors of the Relics Inside Westminster Cathedral.
The late Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity F. L.
Cross additionally provides the following detailed and
fascinating bibliography regarding St. Thérèse,
whose given religious name is spelled both
with and without the letter “h."
Her autobiography was first publd. at Lisieux in 1890;
many sunsequent edd.; Eng. tr., 1901; more recent tr. by
T. N. Taylor, 1927. Letters ed. A. Combes, Lisieux, 1948;
Eng. tr. New York, 1948, Pulies des roses (6 vols. Lisieux,
1913-25). A P. Laveille, Sainte Thérèse de l’Enfant Jésus
(1873-1897), d’après les documents officiels du Carmel
de Lisieux (1925; Eng. tr., 1928). The lage number of
other lives include studies by H. Petitot, O.P. (1922; Eng.
tr., 1927), H. Ghèon (Paris, 1934; Eng. tr., 1934, H. U. von
Balthasar (Olten, 1950; id. Sainte Thérèse de l’Enfant Jésus.
Contemplation et apostolat (1949). Id., La Problème de
L’Hostoire de’une et des œuvres complètes de S Thérèse
de Lisieux (1950), and other works by this author.
(My Source: F. L. Cross, Oxford Dictionary of the
Bidding Their Farewell To The Holy, Holy Relics.
As for the tour of the Holy, Holy Relics around the UK, I was most struck by their arrival at London's dismal Wormwood Scrubs Prison at where the reliquary of St. Thérèse of Lisieux was adored by more than 100 prisoners at the prison's Anglican Chapel. I think it was wondeful to bring such relics to those imprisoned and I suspect it was the first time ever that a British penal institution had hosted the relics of any known saint like those of St. Thérèse's. I do hope that her relics will work modern miracles to impact change in the lives of those prisoners for the better upon their release and/or parole back into normal and regular society.
While visiting the Holy, Holy Relics, I happened upon the new
Archbishop of Westminster, The Most Rev'd Vincent Nichols,
who kindly spent some time chatting with me on the steps
of the Cathedral. Later, I also saw Auxiliary Bishop Bernard
Longley, who has been named by the Holy Father as the next
Archbishop of Birmingham and will be installed there on Dec.
8th. He now replaces then presiding Archbishop Vincent
Nichols of the Brum archdiocese. Pity, I was unable to get
to the good Bishop Longley to personally greet him. Nor
could I get to say "hello" to Father Alexander Sherbrooke
at the Farewell Mass to the Holy, Holy Relics. Perhaps
about 100 Catholic clergy took part in the rare farewell
ceremony. Lousie Chappell, George Errington, Micheal
Burr, and Jennifer Walton, I also saw there even though
they apparently did not see me among the ever growing
crowd as the last day of the relics in Britain
came rapidly to a close.
Waiting In Line To Visit The Reliquary of St. Thérèse. +
Missionary Sisters of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
This then is a brief story of what I experienced at visiting
the Holy, Holy Relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux. I was glad,
I did. Although, frankly, I would have liked to have seen
the actual bones or relics thru bevelled glass, perhaps.
Dare I say, I would have also wanted to touch such bones,
if made possible, even though such may be seen as impro-
per under any circumstances if not religiously approved.
Now more than 110 years later after her death, St. Thérèse
is being hailed as a saint for our modern times that is a far cry
from her real life and her real death at a small French village
that is so far away from the minds and lives of the ordinary
English folks of today's 21st century. Yet, despite that, to
know that over quarter of million people in the UK
visited the reliquary of St Thérèse is true testimony of
her real and enduring presence as a saint well worthy of
her sainthood, even if the digital highway and globalism
decries much of personal faith and belief among the
world's people that she still beckons beyond the
present day secular and anti-religion reach.
Faithfully, Uncle Monty.
Sts. Crispin & Crispinian, Martyrs (BCP).
Religious Notes on Pope Benedict XVI’s Offer
To Thousands of Unhappy Anglicans.
By Uncle Monty.
As an avid and avowed Anglican, I want to stay Anglican even though I strongly object to women priests, gay clergy, calls for female bishops, the dilution of the Book of Common Prayer (BCP), the continuing Africanization of the pews, and the political leftwing intent of the modern Church of England (CofE). I don't buy so-called "Liberation Theology" nor the appeasement toward Islam by the interfaith and politically-correct mindset of those official Anglican doctrinarians.
I am religiously and politically conservative and unashamedly
old fashioned, but I do not want to join the Holy Catholic Church
as an English protestant by character and upbringing. While I have
much respect for much of Catholicism, and for such popes as the
Great John-Paul ll and the present Benedict XVI, I would find it
strange to become a Roman Catholic per se in order to protest so
much that is simply so dreadful in today's all too liberal-minded CofE.
The last thing, however, I want to do as an Anglican is to become
some kind of fake or dodgy Catholic for the sake of conversion.
When one of my many Catholic friends says she must be Protestant
to stay truly Catholic, I counter that perhaps I will need one day to
become Catholic in order to stay truly Protestant! Strange, but true.
As for our present Archbishop of Canterbury, His Grace, Dr. Rowan
Douglas Williams, we seem to find him in a situation that renders
the worldwide Anglican Communion even more against Historic
Anglicanism than at anytime since before Archbishop Robert
Runcie's episcopal day of the early 1980's. As for whatever
numbers of Anglicans actually desert Anglicanism to join The
Catholic Church, it will only be a drop in the bucket, so speak,
against the already overwhelming number of Catholics at 1.3
Billion around the world against a mere 80 Million Anglicans.
Whatever, both the Anglican and Catholic Churches of the world
face the gravest threat and onslaught from the inimical rise and
spread of extreme and radical Islam. While Christians globally
represent 2.2 Billion adherents, the Muslims are quickly catching
up at now 1.9 billion believers around the world with their en-
croaching and dangerous Islam being rammed down our throats
under the guise and enforcement of multiculturism and
multiracialism, especially in the UK under the vile political
and social agenda of New Labour's hideous Tony Blair and his
crafty Labourite conspirator now Justice Secretary Jack Straw.
As for my fellow disaffected and alienated Anglicans, I wish
them god speed in finding their new religious home inside the
parameters and traditions of Holy Catholicism. Perhaps one
day they may also wish to return to the bedrock Anglican
faith of their fathers. Then so be it, i say.
But for me, I was born an Anglican and I shall presumably die
as an avowed Anglican, who grieves constantly at the demise
of our faith due to the self-centred and foolishness of both past
and present Anglican Church leaders who have done more
to destroy Historic Anglicanism than all the secular forces
against modern religion in today’s unchurched world.
In many ways, the Anglican Chuirch has been rejected by millions
of traditional Anglicans, and likewise, the Church itself has pretty
much rejected them now at the Church's own peril and future
survival as a religious enity that is constantly losing its foothold
on the hilltop of Anglican and Protestant Christianity.
I think, Pope Benedict is pretty smart to finally accommodate those unhappy Anglicans, who he had seemed earlier to provide no such comfort or sanctuary or escape for such Protestant folks
that he now does and to the dismay of the sorrowful and tiresome bishops and clergy of the CofE. The pope is yet to fully outline the Vatican requirements for those Anglicans - both clergy and laity - who may seek to enter the Roman Catholic Church. I shall want to read whatever those rules will be. Beyond that, I am still an avid and avowed Anglican despite everything else that I find to vex me. I guess, I could say I am a diehard and hardhead Protestant at heart. And, as an lifelong Anglican who doesn’t see the need to apologize for who and what I am. No, sir, I do not!!
But above, I simply love the Univeral Church and her
abiding presence at no end. Truly, Uncle Monty.
I won't rule out converting to Catholicism, says Bishop
(former Anglican Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali)
By Uncle Monty.
(Click on any image to Enlarge)