St Therese of Lisieux
Prayers to The Little Flower
Since the inception of Our Lady's Shrine at Carfin in 1920's, there has been a strong devotion to St Therese of Lisieux, more commonly known as, The Little Flower.
In autum 2019, Carfin Grotto will have the great honour of welcoming the relics of St Therese to the Shrine during their tour of Scotland.
The Twenty Five Glory Be to the Father's
The devotion known to many as the twenty-five “Glory be’s” came about from a natural desire to express gratitude to the Blessed Trinity for the many blessings showered on St. Thérèse of Lisieux during her twenty-four years and nine months on earth.
The late Father Thomas Taylor, founder of the Grotto at Carfin, was closely involved in the process leading up to her canonisation. He relates in his writings that he first heard of the devotion on his way to the Eucharistic Congress in Chicago in 1927. He had interrupted his journey at Baltimore to renew acquaintance with Father Harig, who had trained with him in the seminary of St. Sulpice in Paris. Father Taylor was shocked by the condition of his friend who had just been discharged from a psychiatric hospital, after a prolonged period of illness. During a subsequent spell in hospital, one of the religious sisterslooking after him urged him to say the “Glory be” twenty-five times every day in thanksgiving for St. Thérèse’s life. Father Harig faithfully promised to do soand found himself restored to full health.
Father Taylor’s interest was further aroused by an experience recounted byan old friend, Canon Grant of Aberdeen, who had been practising the devotion for some years. He had been summoned by an anonymous caller to the bedside of a lady seriously injured in a motor accident. Not knowing whether she was Catholic, he could only offer up a prayer and leave her; but before he left, he slipped his own twenty-five “Glory be’s” cord under the unconscious invalid’spillow. Next morning he was called again to the infirmary, where he found the patient showing signs of recovery. Her story was that she was a lapsed Catholic and had not received theSacraments for thirteen years... There was a sequel - although the vehicle had passed over her body, a few months later the grateful mother gave birth to a healthy child.
This incident, and another nearer home, convinced Father Taylor finally of the efficacy of the twenty-five “Glory be’s” devotion: a mother of eight children, who always had a difficult timeat the birth of her children, was awaiting the birth of her ninth. The doctor in attendance informed her that unless she placed herself entirely in his hands, her health and that of the unborn child could be at risk. The mother refused absolutely and instead sent for Father Taylor, who blessed her with the relic of St. Thérèse, and asked her to recite daily the twenty-five“Glory be’s”. Three days later her child was delivered quickly and without any trouble.
Another favour, of the many received by devotees of the devotion, is a spiritual one, and is even more striking. The father of a missionary nun home from Africa lay dying from cancer. For forty-five years the invalid had not received the Sacraments, nor would he allow a priest to enter his home. Though not completely convinced of the efficacy of the devotion, the distraught daughter, on Father Taylor’s advice, commenced the recitation of the twenty-five “Glory be’s”. A few days later she was summoned urgently from her convent to her father’s deathbed. To her great joy she found him completely reconciled to God, having already received the Last Rites. In his last painful agony, he uttered the prayer, “Jesus, Mary and Joseph”, before he died peacefully in his daughter’s arms.
During the last twenty years or so of Father Taylor’s life, he constantly recommended the twenty-five “Glory be’s” as a private devotion. He considered that after the Sacrifice of the Mass and the recitation of the Rosary, the basis of all sincere prayer was the contemplation of the mystery of the Blessed Trinity. When this was done in the name of St. Thérèse, he claimed that she would become a powerful advocate in heaven for all those who asked.