Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Day Nine of St. Therese's 9-Day Novena

Dear readers:
Today, September 30, is the last day of St. Therese's earthly life. We remember this Little Flower who had complete trust in God and yearned so much to see His Face. This is the last day of our nine-day novena. If this was your very first novena, I am very proud of you. St. Therese must be smiling down on you today.

Beginning tomorrow, on her feast day, you can start another novena that also lasts for nine days. I will post it here tomorrow so you can print it out and keep it handy.

What are your plans for tomorrow? I plan on attending Holy Mass with my family in the morning and then making a special visit to the National Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, MI. After that I will travel to the Ave Maria studios in Ann Arbor, MI to appear on a live radio show called "Kresta in the Afternoon" to talk about St. Therese and how she inspired me to write Olivia and the Little Way. Of course, I plan to either make or buy some chocolate eclairs, St. Therese's favorite treat. I know my sons are looking forward to those! This will be a very special feast day for me, since it is the first St. Therese feast day since my book came out! God is so good!



Start with:
O St. Therese of the Child Jesus, who during your short life on earth became a mirror of angelic purity, of love strong as death, and of wholehearted abandonment to God, now that you rejoice in the reward of your virtues, cast a glance of pity on me as I leave all things in your hands. Make my troubles your own, speak a word for me to Our Lady Immaculate, whose flower of special love you were—to that Queen of Heaven "who smiled on you at the dawn of life." Beg her powerful intercession the grace I yearn for so ardently at this moment and that she join with it a blessing that may strengthen me during life, defend me at the hour of death, and lead me straight on to a happy eternity. Amen.


DAY NINE

O St. Therese, seraphic virgin, beloved spouse of our Crucified Lord, you who on earth did burn with a love so intense toward your God and my God, and now glow with a bright and purer flame in paradise, obtain for me, I beseech you, a spark of that same holy fire which shall help me to put things of the world in their proper place and live my life always conscious of the presence of God. As I conclude my novena I also beg of you to secure for me the special favor I seek at this time...

St. Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.




Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Day Eight of St. Therese's 9-Day Novena



Start with:
O St. Therese of the Child Jesus, who during your short life on earth became a mirror of angelic purity, of love strong as death, and of wholehearted abandonment to God, now that you rejoice in the reward of your virtues, cast a glance of pity on me as I leave all things in your hands. Make my troubles your own, speak a word for me to Our Lady Immaculate, whose flower of special love you were—to that Queen of Heaven "who smiled on you at the dawn of life." Beg her powerful intercession the grace I yearn for so ardently at this moment and that she join with it a blessing that may strengthen me during life, defend me at the hour of death, and lead me straight on to a happy eternity. Amen.


DAY EIGHT

O glorious St. Therese, who, burning with the desire of increasing the glory of God, invariably attended to the sanctification of your soul by the constant practice of prayer and charity so that, becoming in the Church a model of holiness, you are now in Heaven the protector of all those who have recourse to you in faith, look down upon me who invokes your powerful patronage and join your petition to mine that I be granted the favor I seek in this novena...

St. Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Day Seven of St. Therese's 9-Day Novena



Dear readers:
We're almost there! October 1 is only three days away!




Start with:
O St. Therese of the Child Jesus, who during your short life on earth became a mirror of angelic purity, of love strong as death, and of wholehearted abandonment to God, now that you rejoice in the reward of your virtues, cast a glance of pity on me as I leave all things in your hands. Make my troubles your own, speak a word for me to Our Lady Immaculate, whose flower of special love you were—to that Queen of Heaven "who smiled on you at the dawn of life." Beg her powerful intercession the grace I yearn for so ardently at this moment and that she join with it a blessing that may strengthen me during life, defend me at the hour of death, and lead me straight on to a happy eternity. Amen.


Therese of the Child Jesus, most loving Saint, in union with you I adore the divine Majesty. My heart is filled with joy at the remembrance of the marvelous favors with which God blessed your life on Earth and of the great glory that came to you after death. In union with you, I praise God, and offer him my humble tribute of thanksgiving. I implore you to obtain for me, through your powerful intercession, the greatest of all blessings—that of living and dying in the state of grace. I also beg of you to secure for me the special favor I seek in this novena (your request here).


St. Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.









Sunday, September 27, 2009

Day Six of St. Therese's 9-Day Novena


Dear readers: We're already on Day Six! Today's theme touches on how very powerful St. Therese is from Heaven. That is probably the adjective I hear the most about St. Therese: powerful.

A priest friend of ours, the first time I met him, said the very same thing. My son told the priest how much I love Therese, and he looked at me and said seriously, "Oh, she's very powerful." His words stuck with me, and I have to agree. She is so sweet and small, yet so powerful in how she helps people who ask favors of her. She has never let me down, and I feel her presence with me all of the time. She is truly special. You can trust her with whatever you need. She will pray for you, I promise.


Start with:
O St. Therese of the Child Jesus, who during your short life on earth became a mirror of angelic purity, of love strong as death, and of wholehearted abandonment to God, now that you rejoice in the reward of your virtues, cast a glance of pity on me as I leave all things in your hands. Make my troubles your own, speak a word for me to Our Lady Immaculate, whose flower of special love you were—to that Queen of Heaven "who smiled on you at the dawn of life." Beg her powerful intercession the grace I yearn for so ardently at this moment and that she join with it a blessing that may strengthen me during life, defend me at the hour of death, and lead me straight on to a happy eternity. Amen.


DAY SIX

O Little Flower of Jesus, you have shown yourself so powerful in your intercession, so tender and compassionate toward those who honor you and invoke you in suffering and distress, that I kneel at your feet with perfect confidence and beseech you most humbly and earnestly to take me under your protection in my present necessity and obtain for me the favor I ask in this novena (your request here)...Vouchsafe to recommend my request to Mary, the merciful Queen of Heaven, that she may plead my cause with you before the throne of Jesus, her divine Son. Cease not to intercede for me until my request is granted.

St. Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Day Five of St. Therese's 9-Day Novena

Our Little Flower, not long before she went to Heaven



Start with:
O St. Therese of the Child Jesus, who during your short life on earth became a mirror of angelic purity, of love strong as death, and of wholehearted abandonment to God, now that you rejoice in the reward of your virtues, cast a glance of pity on me as I leave all things in your hands. Make my troubles your own, speak a word for me to Our Lady Immaculate, whose flower of special love you were—to that Queen of Heaven "who smiled on you at the dawn of life." Beg her powerful intercession the grace I yearn for so ardently at this moment and that she join with it a blessing that may strengthen me during life, defend me at the hour of death, and lead me straight on to a happy eternity. Amen.

O God, who did inflame with the Spirit of Love, the soul of your servant Therese of the Child Jesus, grant that we also may love you and make you much loved. Amen.


DAY FIVE

O Little Flower of Carmel, Almighty God endowed you, consumed by love for Him, with wondrous spiritual strength to follow the way of perfection during the days of your short life. Sickness touched you early but you remained firm in faith and prayer was your life. O pray for me that I may benefit by your intercession and be granted the favor I ask in this novena...(request here).

St. Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.











Friday, September 25, 2009

Day Four of St. Therese's 9-Day Novena

Dear readers:
We are off to a great start with our nine-day novena to St. Therese to prepare for her feast day on October 1. Keep up the good work! Especially if this is your first novena, you should be very proud of yourselves.


Start with:
O St. Therese of the Child Jesus, who during your short life on earth became a mirror of angelic purity, of love strong as death, and of wholehearted abandonment to God, now that you rejoice in the reward of your virtues, cast a glance of pity on me as I leave all things in your hands. Make my troubles your own, speak a word for me to Our Lady Immaculate, whose flower of special love you were—to that Queen of Heaven "who smiled on you at the dawn of life." Beg her powerful intercession the grace I yearn for so ardently at this moment and that she join with it a blessing that may strengthen me during life, defend me at the hour of death, and lead me straight on to a happy eternity. Amen.

O God, who did inflame with the Spirit of Love, the soul of your servant Therese of the Child Jesus, grant that we also may love you and make you much loved. Amen.



DAY FOUR

O Little Flower of Jesus, who at an early age had your heart set on Carmel and in your brief earthly life did become the mirror of angelic purity, of courageous love and of whole-hearted surrender to Almighty God, turn your eyes of mercy on me who trusts in you. Obtain for me the favor I seek in this novena (your request here) and the grace to keep my heart and mind pure and clean. O dear saint, grant me to feel in every need the power of your intercession; help to comfort me in all the bitterness of this life and especially at its end, that I may be worthy to share eternal happiness with you in Heaven. Amen.

St. Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day Three of St. Therese's 9-Day Novena



Start with:
O St. Therese of the Child Jesus, who during your short life on earth became a mirror of angelic purity, of love strong as death, and of wholehearted abandonment to God, now that you rejoice in the reward of your virtues, cast a glance of pity on me as I leave all things in your hands. Make my troubles your own, speak a word for me to Our Lady Immaculate, whose flower of special love you were—to that Queen of Heaven "who smiled on you at the dawn of life." Beg her powerful intercession the grace I yearn for so ardently at this moment (here is where you mention your request) and that she join with it a blessing that may strengthen me during life, defend me at the hour of death, and lead me straight on to a happy eternity. Amen.

O God, who did inflame with the Spirit of Love, the soul of your servant Therese of the Child Jesus, grant that we also may love you and make you much loved. Amen.

DAY THREE

O Therese of the Child Jesus, lily of purity, ornament and glory of Carmel, I greet you, great saint, seraph of divine love. I rejoice in the favors our Lord so liberally bestowed on you. With humility and confidence I ask you to help me, for I know God has given you love and pity as well as power. Tell Him, now, I beseech you, of the favor I now seek in this novena...Your request will crown my petition with success and bring joy to my heart. Remember your promise to do good here on earth. "I shall spend my heaven doing good on Earth. After death I will let fall a shower of roses."

St. Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Day Two of St. Therese's 9-Day Novena


Dear readers:
It's Day Two of the St. Therese novena, and we are off to a great start!


Start with:
O St. Therese of the Child Jesus, who during your short life on earth became a mirror of angelic purity, of love strong as death, and of wholehearted abandonment to God, now that you rejoice in the reward of your virtues, cast a glance of pity on me as I leave all things in your hands. Make my troubles your own, speak a word for me to Our Lady Immaculate, whose flower of special love you were—to that Queen of Heaven "who smiled on you at the dawn of life." Beg her powerful intercession the grace I yearn for so ardently at this moment (here is where you mention your request) and that she join with it a blessing that may strengthen me during life, defend me at the hour of death, and lead me straight on to a happy eternity. Amen.

O God, who did inflame with the Spirit of Love, the soul of your servant Therese of the Child Jesus, grant that we also may love you and make you much loved. Amen.


DAY TWO

Almighty God, giver of all good gifts, who did will that Blessed Therese, being watered by the heavenly dew of your guiding grace, should bloom in Carmel with the beauty of virginity and patience in suffering, grant that I your servant may go forward in the order of her sweetness and may be found worthy to become a devoted and loyal follower of Christ. Amen.

St. Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.




Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Preparing for October 1, the Little Flower's Feast Day






Dear readers:

St. Therese's feast day will soon be here. I am already planning how I will celebrate this special day with my family. I will post my ideas in upcoming blog entries, but for today I want to share with you a special nine-day novena to the Little Flower. You can start today and end on September 30. Then, the next day, on her feast day, you can begin a special novena that begins October 1. Won't she be happy to hear these novenas? I smile just thinking about it.

Start with:
O St. Therese of the Child Jesus, who during your short life on earth became a mirror of angelic purity, of love strong as death, and of wholehearted abandonment to God, now that you rejoice in the reward of your virtues, cast a glance of pity on me as I leave all things in your hands. Make my troubles your own, speak a word for me to Our Lady Immaculate, whose flower of special love you were—to that Queen of Heaven "who smiled on you at the dawn of life." Beg her powerful intercession the grace I yearn for so ardently at this moment (here is where you mention your request) and that she join with it a blessing that may strengthen me during life, defend me at the hour of death, and lead me straight on to a happy eternity. Amen.

O God, who did inflame with the Spirit of Love, the soul of your servant Therese of the Child Jesus, grant that we also may love you and make you much loved. Amen.


DAY ONE

O Therese of the Child Jesus, well beloved and full of charity, in union with you, I reverently adore the majesty of God, and since I rejoice with exceeding joy in the singular gifts of grace bestowed upon you during your life, and your gifts of glory after death, I give Him deepest thanks for them; I beseech you with all my heart's devotion to be pleased to obtain for me (mention request here). But if what I ask of you so earnestly does not tend to the glory of God and the greater good of my soul, do you, I pray, obtain for me that which is more profitiable to both these ends. Amen. St. Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.


I'll post Day Two tomorrow. Join me in trying your very hardest to say every day of the novena. It is such a wonderful thing to do. God bless you!



Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lights, Camera, Action! The movie about Leonie Martin






Dear readers:

I am so excited to tell you about a new movie coming out next year: Leonie!

Leonie Martin was the older sister of Therese. I would love to discover more about her, so I am eagerly waiting for the film to come out. Leonie was sort of the "black sheep" of the Martin family: rebellious, slow to learn, cranky, awkward. Suffering from physical illness and emotional problems, Leonie especially caused her mother Zelie an awful lot of concern and worry. She tried to enter the convent like her sisters three times. She left every time. She finally overcame her indecision and became a Visitation nun, where she peacefully fulfilled her vocation and was well liked among the rest of the sisters.



Therese's older sister, Leonie Martin






The "Visitation Sisters" enjoy a little break from filming.





I




Sunday, September 13, 2009

Now That Summer Is Over...

Dear readers:
I was delighted to hear that many of your schools chose Olivia and the Little Way for required summer reading this year. I am so excited when I meet you and you tell me your reactions to the book. What I especially enjoy is when you tell me how you have grown closer to St. Therese and God after having read it. That is what makes me happiest, because that is the main reason I wrote the book!

Sometimes you send me copies of your book reports and essays that you've written in school or homeschool. Please keep them coming! You can either email them to me at Nancy@littleflowerbook.com or send them to the following address:

Nancy Belanger
c/o Harvey House Publishing
P.O. Box 81841
Rochester, MI 48308

I'll never use your names or other personal information here on my blog or on my website (www.littleflowerbook.com). I look forward to reading how Olivia and the Little Way touched YOU this summer!



Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New School Year, New Way

Dear readers:

What's St. Therese smiling at in the picture above? She reminds me of the Mona Lisa. Perhaps she was thinking of a private joke between sisters: Her older sister, Celine, loved to take photographs and likely took this one. We have her to thank for all of the photos we now have of St. Therese. If Celine had not enjoyed photography so much, we might not even know what St. Therese looked like!

Most of you are all starting a new school year: making new friends, meeting new teachers, getting adjusted to waking up early. For me that's the hard part: I have to admit I like to stay up late and sleep in! But we'll all get adjusted soon enough, if we haven't already.

Starting a new school year can be tough sometimes. So many changes at once, it seems. Don't worry; you'll be able to handle it all. Lean on the saints for help if you get frustrated. Most of them had trials and tribulations of their own. Even the Little Flower struggled with school and friends. No, she certainly wasn't perfect; none of us are.

But her Little Way is a perfect way to get to know new friends, keep old ones, help your teachers and parents, and, of course, make God very happy. Try doing something nice for someone and see what happens as a result of it. It doesn't have to be anything huge; even a smile for the new girl or boy in class could make his or her day. Try to put yourself in his or her shoes and think about what it would feel like to be new, just like Olivia was in Olivia and the Little Way. Or, if you're the new kid, try not to be shy: Trust that the kids in your new school are eager to help you out. And trust that God is looking out for you, because HE IS!

So smile! It's a new school year— the perfect time to start a new Little Way of serving God!



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