“I will spend my Heaven doing good upon the earth by letting fall a shower of favours, like roses from Heaven.”
– St Thérèse of Lisieux
The Relics of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, the Little Flower, have arrived in the Diocese of Motherwell and were given a very warm welcome earlier today upon their entry to Carfin Grotto, the national Marian shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes and St Thérèse.
Carfin is an appropriate place for the Relics to visit – the Grotto was created by Canon Thomas Nimmo Taylor, who was greatly devoted to the Little Flower long before she was raised to the honours of the Altar. Indeed, he wrote the first English translation of her autobiography ‘The Story Of A Soul’, which would go on to become a spiritual classic. He also played a pivotal role in establishing a solid devotion to this now-world famous Saint, and played a signifcant part in the events leading to her Canonisation.
This evening, despite very heavy rain throughout the afternoon and evening, the Grotto gradually filled with the faithful from all corners of the Diocese of Motherwell – even our beloved Poor Clare sisters from the Monastery of the Immaculate Heart of Mary were granted special permission to leave the cloister in order to be present to honour this wonderful Saint, whose image can be found in almost every Catholic Church.
Confessions took place throughout the afternoon and evening and many souls were there to receive the mercy of the Lord, before the Sacrifice of the Mass mid-evening, which was celebrated by Bishop Joseph Toal and concelebrated by a good numbner of Priests of the Diocese and also a number of Deacons. It was a truly holy and prayer-filled Mass and there was a tremendous sense of reverence throughout.
Following Mass, Father McGachey – the Guardian of Carfin Grotto – led the Rosary and the Litany of St Thérèse, before blessing people individually with a Relic of the Little Flower.
The Relics will remain in the Diocese for the next few days. On Sunday, there will be a national pilgrimage Mass at the Grotto, celebrated by the Bishops of Scotland. The Relics will then travel throughout the Dioceses of Scotland, including a visit to Barlinnie Prison in Glasgow – remember, Thérèse had a particular devotion to prisoners.
I pray these days will be a great moment of divine grace for our Diocese, for the Church in Scotland, and for all the people.
May the prayers of the Little Flowers obtain for us from the Lord a torrent of heavenly roses, as she promised she would do.
St Thérèse of Lisieux, the Little Flower of Jesus, pray for us.