(This piece, by our reader Suzie Savoy of Texas, deeply resonated with me. Our Lord often uses significant dates as a little sign that He is with us, particularly when suffering is involved. I have mentioned that I delayed by several years fully accepting the work that was offered me, because I had been promised that when I did, I would enter into a period of extended intense suffering to prepare me. I finally gave my definitive yes late in the summer of 1997. Sure enough, serious and unusually huge convulsions began to shake my life – with family, work, everything. On Feb 11, 1998, my house burned down. Everything had come unglued so quickly – but it was a comfort to me…for when the house was destroyed on the Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes, one of the most important feast days to me, it was a sure sign that all these troubles were merely what God had promised. I was in deep stress, but He let me know He was with me. Suzie clearly has lived that and lived it well. – CJ)
By Suzie Savoy
The link that you posted about Pope Francis’s devotion to St. Therese the Little Flower reminded me of my devotion to her which started many years ago after I became a convert to the Catholic faith. I guess this story would be in the category of “Ordinary Miracles” which I believe the Saint is responsible for the many blessings of graces to me due to her intercession to this day.
During my conversion into the Catholic faith in the 1990’s, I was given many consolations from God’s grace. One of those being that my children, David and Jackie, were baptized into the faith at the ages of 8 and 9 years old, respectively. You see, I came to my conversion taking the long, crooked road from the Lutheranism of an anti-Catholic household, to agnostic, to studying about all different Protestant faiths, to studying about Judaism, to becoming a Unitarian Universalist, to finally meeting a man who was Catholic (I was divorced at the time) and going to Catholic Mass with him. During Mass, a feeling came over me giving me the impression that “I was home.”
After I became a Catholic at 40 years old, I had an internal urging to read about St. Therese the Little Flower. Her Way of Spiritual Childhood intrigued me so much because I felt this was a theology that I could understand. Ordinary saints outside of the apostles were a foreign concept to my former Protestant mind. I was in the baby steps of my conversion, and a sponge for trying to absorb the concepts of this rich faith called Catholicism. I immediately fell in love with St. Therese after reading all I could about her, and I started to pray for her intercessory help because I truly believed after getting to know her that I had a sister in Heaven.
When her traveling relics were coming to St. Bernadette’s Catholic Church in Houston, Texas on December 6, 1999, I knew I was not going to miss it. After Mass, while awaiting our turn to go up and revere the Saint’s precious relics, I was sitting in my pew praying when a little girl who I did not know that couldn’t have been more than 4 years old, dressed like St. Therese with a habit, red roses, and a crucifix in her hands, broke through the processing crowd, directly coming over to me. She handed me a colorful medal of St. Therese. I thought that she was just showing it to me, so I commented to her how beautiful it was, and attempted to hand it back to her. Her mother came up behind the little girl and said to me, “No, she wants you to have this medal for some reason.” So I thanked the mother and the little girl, and then she quickly disappeared into the crowd with her mother. We never saw them again. My husband and my in-laws witnessed this event, and they were as surprised and shocked as I was about what happened. I still have this medal attached to my Rosary to this day.
But, the story doesn’t end there. As I continued to have a strong devotion to this Saint, my son, David, started to have problems later in his life. To make this long story short, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia, a severe mental illness that seems to have a genetic link in my family with the men as my brother and uncle also had this horrific disease of the mind. David lost his battle with schizophrenia at 21 years old. He died on October 1, 2007, the Feast Day of St. Therese the Little Flower.
After my son’s passing, I have pondered numerous hours on these events that led up to his death on the feast day of the first Saint that I became so attached to during my conversion. God knew David was afflicted with this genetic disease while he was in my womb. And in my humble opinion, I’m assuming this Saint also knew this. And this was God’s way and her way of letting me know that David is with Him in Heaven, interceding for me, looking out for me, for our family, with his prayers. After all, David did suffer silently in his passion during his whole lifetime while hiding this horrific disease from those of us closest to him. The suffering that I bear from his death is nothing compared to what my son suffered his whole life dealing with a diseased mind that turned against him and reared its ugly head as the disease came to the surface of my son’s mind at the age of 21.
This Saint still blesses me with little miracles. I have such comfort knowing that my son, David, has this Sister with him in Heaven. David was born on the Feast Day of St. John of the Cross, December 14, 1985, and died on the Feast Day of St. Therese the Little Flower so I call David, “My Carmelite in Heaven.”
Thank you, Charlie, for letting me share this little miracle with you. Also thank you for your website and postings. They are rich in their theology, yet easily understood by my simple mind. I have a better understanding of creation, this universe with the eternal, of God, of Christ, of Mary, his saints, his angels, the satan, and everything else you have talked about. By way of a little miracle, I found you through Mystics of the Church website that mentioned you last January 2015. Since then, I have been in a crash course of The Next Right Step, trying to read all the articles and the attached comments of your archives. They have given me such peace to know that God has a plan. And I am humbled to know that I have been given the grace to know this.
Also through grace, I was urged interiorly, to put in a prayer request for my daughter on your website. You sent St. Therese to intercede for me stating that she was picked by you at random. Another little miracle. St. Therese telling me again that your website is what I need to pay attention to so that I can acknowledge God, take the next right step, and be a sign of hope to those around me as the Storm rears it’s ugly head.