Bloom Where You Are

The radical theology of Therese of Lisieux

By Ma. Ceres Doyo

Through her pen the world learned about the story of her soul and her wondrous journey into deep intimacy with God. She did not have a huge following when she was alive for she lived in obscurity in a Carmelite monastery. She did not leave behind large missionary foundations. But through her writing that were made public after she died at the age of 24 in 1897, people got to know her and were amazed at the depth of her spirituality.

Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, popularly known as Saint Therese of Lisieux or the Little Flower, has arrived in the country. Most Filipinos know her as Santa Teresita. Her relics arrived for a three-month journey across the Philippines and some parts of Asia. The veneration of relics of saints is not idolatry. According to a primer on St. Therese relics, “The veneration must be seen in the way men and women of all ages and cultures venerate the dead and pray in front of her mortal remains. The relics of the saints, meditations of their presence and memorials of their historical existence evoke their humanity – the way they lived, worked, suffered and prayed. Through their relics, God manifest His presence and shows forth His might and glory.” Bishop Ramon Arguelles, Military Vicar and Chair of the millennium Saint Foundation, says that in welcoming  Therese’s relics, and her little way of confidence and love, the Church welcomes God’s merciful love. He quotes the Bible, saying: “And a little Child shall lead us.”

French Monk Forgave Future Algerian Killer In Letter To God

The family of Christian de Cherge, one of the seven French Trappist monks killed by Algerian terrorist in 1996, released his last testament, a Dieu (To God), “to be opened in the event of my death.” Some extracts taken from the translation by the monks at mount Bernard Abbey, Coalville, Leicester are given below.

If it should happen one day- and it could be today- that I become a victim of terrorism... I would like my community, my church, my family, to remember that my life was given to God and this country.

I ask them to be able to associate such a death with many other deaths which were just as violent but forgotten through indifference and anonymity. My life has no more value than any other. Nor any less value.

Diana and the Landmines

I was sick and you visited me

Photo Courtesy :

A year ago Diana, Princess of Wales, died in a car crash in Paris.

Our readers know that MISYON has been carrying the campaign against anti-personnel mines for a long time now. So we were delighted when Diana, Princess of Wales, took up the campaign. It gave a very high profile image to the anti-mine work and highlighted the horror of 26,000 casualties a year. These casualties are mostly children, women and farmers. The Holy Father himself has singled out these weapons as been particularly inhuman when he said, “I should once again like to make a vigorous appeal for the definitive cessation of the manufacture and use of these arms called anti-personnel mines. In many countries of the world they compromise the return of peace over long periods of time because they have been placed either on the roads or in the fields with the intention of causing indiscriminate harm to a maximum number of people. In fact they continue to kill and cause irreparable damage well after the end of hostilities, giving rise to severe mutilation in adults and above all in children."

This flower still blooms

By Fr. Sean Coyle, SSC

Henri Pranzini was a notorious criminal who was sentenced to death in France on July 13, 1887, four days after his trial opened. At the time Therese Martin was 14. Her father Louis, a watchmaker, was a widower. His wife, Zelie Guerin, had died ten years before. Louis did not allow his children to read the newspapers, even though he subscribed to La Croix, the Catholic daily which is still published in Paris. However, Therese had heard about Pranzani because the whole of France was talking about him, even I those pre-radio, pre-TV days. Everything she had heard pointed to his not having repented. She decided that she would pray in a special way for him. And she asked God for a sign.