A few years ago, before I had a blog, I remember reading about the 31 Days challenge. Well, this year I’m going to try again! Link ups and writing challenges are my friends as I attempt to blog for pleasure and relaxation. So I’m writing on a topic of interest probably mostly to myself: travel!
Each day, I plan to briefly share the story of a place I have visited. In honor of St. Therese’s feast day, I’ll start off with Lisieux, France, which I visited in August 2005. I was traveling in France for two weeks with two girlfriends, just before our semester abroad.
I remember climbing the hilly, narrow cobblestone streets to get to our hostel. I remember the African ladies in vibrantly printed dresses who ran the hostel and were very sweet. I recall the thrill of walking through the Martin home, seeing their relics and recreated possessions. The roses blooming in Therese’s own front garden were a special sight.
Then there was the little chapel in the Carmel were St. Therese lived and died, with a chapel containing her tomb and filled with flowers. I recall searching for a flower seller, that we too might leave roses at her tomb. What joy to celebrate Mass is that blessed place!
Then there was the museum, with some of Therese’s clothes and possessions, and her hair. Her long, curly hair, cut off at her first profession, was saved by the nuns and on display. It makes one realize what a sacrifice of female vanity it is to cut off all ones beautiful hair and cover your head forever!
Finally, we visited the grand, new basilica, built to house all the pilgrims. But it was not so special as the Carmel, and all I remember is mosaics in too bright colors and the glasses reliquary containing her arm bone.
St. Therese took particular care of me that autumn a spent in Europe, and has always been one of my favorite saints. She has continued to bless me, and now I even have my own little Theresa Rose!