A beautiful rendering of Our Lady's cure of St. Therese
Before I begin this post, I wanted to share a "hello" moment I had from St. Therese. I woke up much earlier than I usually do this morning. I tossed and turned and could not get back to sleep. I started to think about the blog entry I would post today. Suddenly, an idea came into my head: write about St. Therese's cure from Our Lady of the Smile. This seemed like a perfect idea, considering it is May and I wanted to make an effort to write about the Blessed Mother this month. As I did some further research about this miraculous healing, I was astonished to find out that it happened on May 13, this very day! This is the hand of God and a nudge from Therese.
When St. Therese was ten years old, she became very sick and bedridden with an emotional sickness. Her father and sisters were very worried, and spent weeks by her bedside, praying for her to recover. They brought the family's Blessed Mother statue to her bedroom so she could look at it and be comforted as she prayed. On this very day 126 years ago, as Therese prayed desperately, she was cured by a smile from the statue. Therese wrote, "Suddenly...Mary's face radiated kindness and love." Her sickness was over and she was healed. Now the statue is known as "Our Lady of the Smile" because of Therese's wonderful experience.
As we honor Our Lady during the month of May, it only seems fitting to talk about this beautiful smile that healed Therese. Therese had a very great love for her, even if she had trouble concentrating while she prayed the rosary, and even fell asleep while praying it! She remarked that it didn't matter, for the Heavenly Father loved her anyway, just as an earthly father loved a child falling asleep in his arms. I imagine she felt that the Blessed Mother did not mind, either. That smile was just what Therese needed, a motherly showing of immaculate love, especially since Therese's mother died when she was only four. Therese felt the depth of Our Lady's love for her and for all of us. Her smile is with us still, and is there whenever we feel lonely, lost, afraid, unloved, weak, or sad.
Therese's bed and the statue of Our Lady of the Smile, where she was healed.