New Therese Memorabilia at the National Shrine
Many people have had the privilege of touching or holding relics of St. Thérèse – pieces of her body, her clothing, her sand dial, her lantern, and her prayer book. I remember holding the original map she drew of North America at age 12 and feeling the impressions of her pencil on the back side of the map – I really was in touch with young Thérèse and her youthful energy and worldwide curiosity.
The Carmelite Nuns of Lisieux have shared with the Carmelites in Darien many of the relics and memorabilia of St. Thérèse we display at the shrine. Because of their generosity, we have the largest collection of relics and personal artifacts of the Little Flower outside of Lisieux at the National Shrine of St. Thérèse in Darien, IL. The Carmelites are proud to make her Relics available to be touched and experienced in this beautiful shrine and museum.
The nuns have agreed to periodically lend us precious memorabilia of Thérèse from their rich museum and archives. We all know that among her many jobs in the convent, Thérèse was the sacristan; she prepared everything for the convent Mass. Many of us have seen the picture of her at the sacristy table, preparing the chalice, paten and ciborium. It is one of the 47 pictures taken of her during her life by Celine, her sister.
With the gracious permission of Sr. France-Marie, Prioress of the Carmel of Lisieux, we now have on display the actual Chalice, Ciborium and Paten she was preparing each day, along with the velvet tablecloth with the gold fringe she used each day.
Some people may recall that she mentions this in her “Story of a Soul” autobiograpy, especially when she looked into the paten to see what she looked like (they had no mirrors in the convent) and then realized how proud she was being and put it down. People can today see, in the Darien, IL, National Shrine, these precious religious articles which she touched and used daily – and even look into the paten to see the vague image. These articles have never left the Carmel of Lisieux since St. Thérèse’s time. I hope many people are able to come and visit – and be with her in this very real, tangible way.
Fr. Bob Colaresi, O. Carm.