Roses, Roses, Roses…Rosary!

“Let the little children come to me.” Photo: Patricia Enk

St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face promised that when she went to Heaven she would send down a shower of roses, and indeed she does. Therese points out for us the way of spiritual childhood: simplicity of prayer, and trust. But first we must become like little children…

October begins with the Feast of the “Little Flower,” St. Therese, and with the feast days that follow the graces flow into an ever increasing cataract of roses of grace, mercy, and peace, as with childlike simply we turn to Our Mother, Our Lady of the Rosary. In this month of the Holy Rosary, we are called anew to contemplate the Face of Jesus Christ in the Gospels, together with Mary, as we pray the simple prayers of the Rosary: The Creed, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

Mass of the Roses, Photo: Patricia Enk

When he placed the New Millennium under “the Radiant sign of the Face of Christ” Pope St. John Paul II wrote, “To contemplate the Face of Christ, and to contemplate it with Mary, is the ‘program’ which I have set before the Church at the dawn of the third millennium…It is the Church’s task to reflect the light of Christ in every historical period, to make His Face shine also before new generations of the new millennium. Our witness, however, would be hopelessly inadequate if we ourselves had not first contemplated His Face.”  The Rosary is a traditional Christian prayer directed to the contemplation of Christ’s Face. “Without contemplation, the Rosary is a body without a soul,” says Pope St. John Paul II, “and runs the risk of becoming a mechanical repetition of formulas, in violation of the admonition of Christ.”

Mass of the Roses, Photo: Patricia Enk

Contemplation is a gift, a grace, from God. It is a communion in which God transforms a soul into His likeness. To put it more simply, as St. Teresa of Jesus says, contemplation is “a close sharing between friends…taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us.”  Contemplation is not something beyond our reach however–we have an incomparable model in Mary; the eyes of her heart were always turned toward His Face. To dispose our souls to receive this great gift of God we need only reach for a Rosary and pray it with humility, listening attentively in the Spirit together with Mary, in silent love–that veil of mystery–to the Father’s voice. When we contemplate the scenes or mysteries of the Rosary in union with Mary, the Rosary becomes an unceasing praise of God; a way to learn from her about her son, Jesus, to discover His secrets and understand His message for us.

Mass of the Roses, Photo: Patricia Enk

To recite the Rosary, which can be called a compendium of the Gospel, Pope St. John Paul II says, “is to contemplate the Face of Christ in union with, and at the school of, His Most Holy Mother…Against the background of the words of the Ave Maria the principal events of the life of Jesus Christ pass before the eyes of the soul. They take shape in the complete series of the joyful, [luminous,] sorrowful and glorious mysteries, and they put us in living communion with Jesus through–we might say through the heart of his Mother…The Rosary belongs among the finest and most praiseworthy traditions of Christian contemplation…To look upon the Face of Christ, to recognize its mystery amid the daily events and sufferings of His human life, and then to grasp the divine splendor definitively revealed in the Risen Lord, seated in glory at the right hand of the Father; this is the task of every follower of Christ and therefore the task of each one of us. In contemplating Christ’s Face we become open to receiving the mystery of Trinitarian life, experiencing ever anew the love of the Father and delighting in the joy of the Holy Spirit. St. Paul’s words can then be applied to us ‘Beholding the glory of the Lord, we are being changed into His likeness, from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.'” (Rosarium Virginus Mariae)

The Mass of the Roses in honor of St. Therese, Photo: Patricia Enk

The entire month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary and October 7th is celebrated as the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. The feast, originally named for Our Lady of Victory, commemorated the stunning victory, against all odds, obtained by Our Lady in the Battle of Lepanto through the prayer of the Rosary–which saved Christendom on October 7th, in 1571. By keeping our eyes fixed on the Face of Jesus as we pray the Rosary, together with Mary, through her maternal intercession, we too may obtain great victories through the heart of her Son Jesus, who obtained for all mankind the greatest victory over sin and death by His Resurrection.

Painting of the Blessed Mother and Jesus by Margaret Farr

In Thanksgiving for a Beautiful Day

A Beautiful Mass of the Roses in honor of St. Therese

Fr. Jorge Cabrera-Marrero, OCD, Main Celebrant for the Mass of the Roses (Photo: Patricia Enk)

Thank you, Lord, for a beautiful Mass of the Roses in honor of St. Therese. God’s Face shone upon all, reflecting the beauty, goodness, and innocence which is His Divine Presence in the world.  

Discalced Carmelite Nuns, and children processing with Roses (Photo: Patricia Enk)
Children in procession with Roses (photo: Patricia Enk)
Fr. Jorge Cabrera-Marrero, OCD blesses the children’s roses (Photo:Patricia Enk)

 

“Let the ‘little ones’ come to Me” (Photo: Patricia Enk)

 

St. Therese reminds us to pray for vocations to the priesthood (Photo: Patricia Enk)

Annual Mass of the Roses in honor of St. Therese

“The Dream of the Child Jesus” Oil painting by St. Therese of the Child Jesus contemplating His Holy Face on the Cross

The Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Covington, Louisiana will again celebrate the solemn Feast Day of St. Therese of the Holy Face and the Child Jesus, also known as “the Little Flower,” with their annual “Mass of the Roses” on Sunday, October 1st, 2017.  St. Therese 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.

The “Mass of the Roses.” will open with a flute prelude by Sr. Grace, OCD and Patti Adams, LPO.  The Holy Eucharist will be celebrated at 9:30 am with Father Jorge Cabrera, OCD, 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.

Children come in procession for “the blessing of the roses.”

 

“St. Therese doll” handmade by the Carmelite nuns

Many gifts, food, and handmade items may be purchased; the proceeds will help the Carmelite nuns meet their financial needs for the year. 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 articles, 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.

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.”  

This years St. Therese Icon for silent auction by Patricia Enk, OCDS

St. Therese’ sister Celine (Sr. Genevieve of the Holy Face), also wrote: “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.” 

For more information on the “Mass of the Roses” (click here)

Below are some wonderful photos that journalist Paul Badde has sent of St. Therese’s relics visiting the Sanctuary Basilica of the Holy Face in Manoppello on November 4th, 2006.

Relics of St. Therese at the altar of the shrine of the Holy Face in Manoppello, November 4, 2006 (Photo: Paul Badde)
St. Therese reliquary covered with rose petals. Shrine of the Holy Face of Manoppello. Nov. 4, 2006 (Photo: Paul Badde)
St. Therese reliquary carried in procession in front of the Basilica Sanctuary of the Holy Face of Manoppello. Nov. 4, 2006. (Photo: Paul Badde)

St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face

"Jesus, Your ineffable image is the star which guides my steps. Ah, You know, Your sweet Face is for me Heaven on earth. My love discovers the charms of Your Face adorned with tears. I smile through my own tears when I contemplate your sorrows."
“Jesus, Your ineffable image is the star which guides my steps. Ah, You know, Your sweet Face is for me Heaven on earth.”

 

Prayers for Sinners
By St. Therese of The Child Jesus and The Holy Face

Eternal Father, since Thou hast given me for my inheritance the adorable Face of Thy Divine Son, I offer that Face to Thee, and I beg Thee, in exchange for this coin of infinite value, to forget the ingratitude of souls dedicated to Thee, and to pardon all poor sinners.

Drawing of The Shroud of Turin by Sr. Genevieve of the Holy Face (Celine Martin, the sister of St. Therese)
Drawing of The Shroud of Turin by Sr. Genevieve of the Holy Face (Celine Martin, the sister of St. Therese)

O Jesus, Who in Thy bitter Passion didst become “the most abject of men, a man of sorrows, “ I venerate Thy Sacred Face whereon once there did shine the beauty and sweetness of the Godhead; but now it has become for me as if it were the face of a leper! Nevertheless, under those disfigured features, I recognize Thy infinite Love and I am consumed with the desire to love Thee and make Thee loved by all men. The tears which well up abundantly in Thy sacred eyes appear to me as so many precious pearls that I love to gather up, in order to purchase souls of poor sinners by means of their infinite value.

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St. Therese – Feast day Oct. 1st

O Jesus, Whose adorable Face ravishes my heart, I implore Thee to fix deep within me Thy Divine Image and to set me on fire with Thy Love, that I may be found worthy to come to the contemplation of Thy glorious Face in Heaven. Amen.

St. Therese Icon by Patricia Enk
St. Therese Icon by Patricia Enk

For information on The Mass of the Roses in honor of St. Therese please click here or here.

Father, through Saint Therese, help us to trust with a childlike disposition in your mercy and love.  Saint Therese, remember your promise to do good on earth.  Shower down roses on us and hear our prayers.  Amen. 

Saint Therese’s Canticle to the Holy Face

Devotion-sideJesus, Your ineffable image
Is the star which guides my steps.
Ah, You know, Your sweet Face
Is for me Heaven on earth.
My love discovers the charms
Of Your Face adorned with tears.
I smile through my own tears
When I contemplate Your sorrows.

Oh! To console You I want
To live unknown on earth!
Your beauty, which You know how to veil,
Discloses for me all its mystery.
I would like to fly away to You!

Your Face is my only homeland.
It’s my Kingdom of love.
It’s my cheerful meadow.
Each day, my sweet sun.
It’s the Lily of the Valley
Whose mysterious perfume
Consoles my exiled soul,
Making it taste the peace of Heaven.

It’s my Rest, my Sweetness
And my melodious Lyre
Your Face, O my Sweet Savior,
Is the Divine Bouquet of Myrrh
I want to keep on my heart!

Your Face is my only wealth.
I ask for 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.

So that I may gather
A beautiful golden harvest,
Deign to set me aflame with Your Fire.
With Your adorned mouth,
Give me soon the Eternal Kiss!

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)
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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!!!

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

Happy Feast of St. Therese! painting by Brenda Burke
Happy Feast of St. Therese!
painting by Brenda Burke

October 1st marks the feast day of St. Therese of The Child Jesus and The Holy Face.  But, on Sunday, October 4th, Therese will be honored once again at the annual “Mass of the Roses” held at the Discalced Carmelite Monastery on River Road in Covington, Louisiana.  Friends, family and religious come together for the Holy Eucharist and joyful celebration of the life and example  of St. Therese. (More details below.) Of course, there are many, many children present and a “Shower of Roses from Heaven” fall, just as St. Therese has promised!

Mass of the Roses from 2014: Fr. Vic Messina presiding
Mass of the Roses from 2014: Fr. Vic Messina presiding

Children come in procession for "the blessing of the roses." Children gather for the “blessing of the roses.”

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.” 

— St. Therese of The Child Jesus and The Holy Face

This year’s Mass of Roses this year is exceptional because it will not only be in honor of St. Therese but also in honor of the 5th Centenary of the birth of the foundress of the Discalced Carmelites, St. Teresa of Avila. 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.  Holy Eucharist will be celebrated at 9:30 am with Fr. Ephrem Arcement, OSB as the main celebrant.  Immediately following Mass, the children are very welcome to join in procession, carrying roses to the altar  to be blessed and distributed.  10:30 am wonderful refreshments will be served thanks to many gracious sponsors.  Hand-made items, 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.

St. Therese of The Child Jesus and The Holy Face Icon by Patricia Enk
St. Therese of The Child Jesus and The Holy Face Icon by Patricia Enk

A special table will also be set up for Holy Face books, Chaplets, Images and Medals.  For the past few years I’ve done an icon of St. Therese for silent auction.  This is a photo of last year’s icon.  (I don’t have a photo of this years icon as I’m still “taking it down to the wire” with last minute touches.)

If you are in the neighborhood, I hope you can join us!

“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