Monday, October 1, 2012

National Shrine of The Little Flower

 
Bone and habit relics of the Little Flower
 

Happy Feast Day Little Flower!  (October 1st (originally October 3rd))   I felt it would be a wonderful thing to honor Saint Therese of Lisieux with some photos of the National Shrine of the Little Flower.

National Shrine of the Little Flower
The National Shrine of the Little Flower is located on Woodward Avenue in Royal Oak, Michigan.
You can see the bell tower and part of the church here.  I regret that I have lost my best photos of the exterior when our computer crashed a couple of years ago.  I thought I still had the photos and so I didn't take many more of the same when I visited a few weeks ago.  At night the bell tower is lit up and you can see it from quite a distance.  It is beautiful.  Really, every inch of the shrine is beautiful!
Our Lord is presented on the front of the bell tower.  Inscribed below his feet are the words:
Father forgive them for they know not what they do ((Oh, and how I need to remember those words when someone offends me!  My husband reminded me today that it's not the people who are really causing the trouble, it's the devil!  So, I should cut them slack...) and this day thou shalt be in paradise with me.  I can't remember, but I am thinking all seven of Jesus' last words are here or might be here.
Saint John and the Virgin Mary are at the bottom left of the bell tower.
Saint Longinus is to the right.
Jesus' death is the perfect CHARITY.

Guarding the bottom, below Jesus are the five archangels.  From left to right are:
Jophiel, Raphael, Michael, Gabriel and Uriel.
(I understand that we are only allowed to pray to Saint Raphael, Saint Michael and Saint Gabriel.)
Our Lady, Queen of Angels is above one entrance.
The Little Flower faces Jesus on the cross.
 
 She's in the rose garden, too.  Along with The Way of the Cross.

Inside the National Shrine of the Little Flower is this little marble alcove.  Our Lord rests here.  I love spending time with Jesus here.  There are a few seats for visits.  It is a very private place.  
Here's a close-up of Jesus above the altar.

 
The Shrine church is circular.  The main altar is in the center. 
Here's another photo taken when the lights were still on after mass.
 
 The Blessed Sacrament resides directly behind the main altar and there are little rooms surrounding the church with side altars. 
This is the altar dedicated to Our Lady.
She is made of white marble as are all of the altars.

Everything it seems, is made of marble.  Even Saint Jude is marble.

Jesus is marble.
As is Saint Joseph. 

They believe in Saint Christopher here.
 
The actual Shrine Room dedicated to Saint Therese of Lisieux is off to one side.
The baptismal font is found here.  In the far side, to the left is the altar.


A close up of the altar of the Little Flower.
There are lots of candles to light.
But go early, because lots of folks light these candles!
 I lit a candle for all of my Theresa, Teresa, and Therese friends.
I also lit a candle for all of my blogging friends.
The Shrine room as two rooms attached to it.  These are the Edith Stein room and the Martin Room.  The Edith Stein room is like a little chapel dedicated to her.
Remember she took the name, Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross?
Aren't the windows beautiful?
 
In the main shrine area above each doorway, guards an angel with a book or placard. 
This one is my favorite.  It reads: 
"My Soul can only feed upon truth.  I have always said to God:  Grant that I may see things Just as they are and that I may not be lead by falsehood."   
I started praying that prayer a few years ago.  Well, something like it.  Saint Theresa must have put that in my head! Anyway, in my own life, it has helped me to discern so many things including my relationships with others.  It has helped me to see people, not from my perspective, but from God's perspective.  It has helped me to feel compassion when I would have otherwise judged someone harshly.   And sometimes we can pray it to see ourselves as we really are.  That is eye-opening.  
 
This angel holds a placard that reads:  "My whole strength lies in prayer and sacrifice.  These invincible weapons far more than words will win hearts to God."  The Little Flower.
 This angel is above the Martin Room.
It reads, " The face is the mirror of the soul and should always be serene even when alone being cheerful remembering that you are in the sight of the angels." 
 
  The Martin Room is all about the Little Flower and her family.  There are many photos including this one that I love of Saint Therese and her sister Celine.  Isn't this just preciousness?  This is my favorite image of The Little Flower.  Her little soul is a mirror of Jesus.
Here's one of when she was in the convent.
Would you believe? Her last tear!

This really touched my heart...
You'll remember Our Lady of the Smile?

She's in the Shrine Administrative area.
And here's Saint Theresa again.
 
Well, okay, Little Flower, lets you and me have cup of coffee and perhaps a little chat.  It's your Feast Day, after all!
And then you can help me make a coloring page for you. 
 
(I'm getting a lot of practice drawing the Little Flower.  I have to make her look like her before I create a coloring page.  I'm on my fourth drawing right now.  I have had a lot of trouble focusing my mind and my eyes in the last few years.  Too many head injuries I guess! LOL! There was a time when I could look at something, remember what I saw and put it on paper.  Now it is a struggle.  But the struggles are worth it, aren't they?)
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My hope by writing this post is that others will be inspired to make their own pilgrimage to The National Shrine of the Little Flower.  And as a way to assist others who cannot visit, to still enjoy seeing this wonderful place if only in photos.
 
You can visit the Shrine webiste at http://www.shrinechurch.com/