Mass of the Roses in honor of St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face

Fr. Ephrem Arcement, OSB (from 2015 Mass of the Roses)
Fr. Ephrem Arcement, OSB (from 2015 Mass of the Roses)
painting by Brenda Burke

It’s time once again for the annual Mass of the Roses in honor of St. Therese “The Little Flower! This year’s celebration will be held on Sunday, October 2nd at the Discalced Carmelite Nuns Monastery on River Road in Covington, Louisiana.  St. Therese, whose Feast Day is October 1st, was a French Discalced Carmelite Nun who died of tuberculosis at the age of 24.  She became a Saint and Doctor of the Church, inspiring others by her “Little Way” of doing small things with great love to attain holiness. She promised that when she died “a shower of roses” would fall from Heaven in the graces obtained through her intercession.

“Your Face is my only wealth, I ask nothing more.  Hiding myself in it unceasingly, I will resemble You, Jesus.  Leave in me, the Divine Impress of Your features filled with sweetness, and soon I’ll become holy.  I shall draw hearts to You.” — St. Therese of The Child Jesus and The Holy Face

Children getting ready for procession with their roses photo: Patricia Enk
Children getting ready for procession with their roses
photo: Patricia Enk

This year’s Mass of Roses will be a triple celebration; not only in honor of St. Therese, but also in honor of the Jubilee Year of Mercy and the Golden Jubilee of Sr. Joan!  Shuttle service from off-site parking to the Monastery will be available beginning a 8:15 am.  At 9:00 am  there will be a flute prelude by Sr. Grace, OCD and Sarah Schettler, LPO.  Holy Eucharist will be celebrated at 9:30 am with Fr. Louis Arcement, CM as the main celebrant.  Immediately following Mass, the children are invited to join in procession, carrying roses to the altar  to be blessed and distributed.47a6df10b3127cce98549cbf575400000030100azngjvs2auwgg

Handmade quilt by Carolyn Pelzex (mother of Sr. Grace!) for silent auction
Handmade quilt by Carolyn Pelzek (mother of Sr. Grace!) for silent auction. 3ft x 3ft

Delicious refreshments will be served after the Mass, thanks to many gracious sponsors and volunteers.  Hand-made items by the sisters, as well as cookies, pies and bread from the Sister’s kitchen will be for sale as well as a variety of religious article, books and gifts. A  children’s area will be set up for face-painting, artwork and other fun activities. A special table will also be set up for Holy Face books, Chaplets, Images and Medals.

St. Therese Icon by Patricia Enk for this years silent auction
St. Therese Icon by Patricia Enk for this years silent auction

Although, St. Therese is more commonly known for her way of “Spiritual Childhood” and devotion to The Child Jesus, her sister, Mother Agnes gave this testimony for St. Therese’ beatification:

“Devotion to the Holy Face was the Servant of God’s special attraction.  As tender as was her devotion to the Child Jesus, it cannot be compared to her devotion to the Holy Face.” 

"Holy Face of Tours"
“Holy Face of Tours”

St. Therese’ sister Celine (Sr. Genevieve of the Holy Face), also wrote that “Devotion to the Holy Face was, for Therese, the crown and complement of her love for the Sacred Humanity of Our Lord.  The Blessed Face was the mirror wherein she beheld the Heart and Soul of her Well-Beloved.  Just as the picture of a loved one serves to bring the whole person before us, so in the Holy Face of Christ Therese beheld the entire Humanity of Jesus.  We can say unequivocally that this devotion was the burning inspiration of the Saint’s life… Her devotion to the Holy Face transcended, or more accurately, embraced, all the other attractions of her spiritual life.”

Prayer of St. Therese to The Holy Face

“O adorable Face of Jesus, sole beauty which ravishes my heart, vouchsafe to impress on my soul Your divine likeness so that it may not be possible for You to look at Your spouse without beholding Yourself!  O my Beloved, for love of You I am content not to see here on earth the sweetness of Your glance, nor to feel the ineffable kiss of Your sacred lips, but I beg of You to inflame me with Your love so that it may consume me quickly and that soon I may behold Your glorious countenance in Heaven.” 47a6df10b3127cce98549ce7570c00000030100azngjvs2auwgg

Please join us if you are in the neighborhood for this joyous occasion!!!