St. Therese Church in Adelaide, Australia

Three of my four children are now based in Australia. I am so lucky to have visited a number of states in this small continent/country – Melbourne, Sydney, Gold Coast and now Adelaide. But what interests me more today is the different churches in Adelaide. Well – I was intrigued that this City in South Australia is dubbed as the City of Churches. I finally found out that although there are many Catholic Churches here, there are many other churches – Orthodox, Anglican, Presbyterian, Christian, Lutheran and even mosques and temples.

The first church that I went to was the St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in the heart of Adelaide City. And I was so happy to see a statue of my heavenly friend up on the right side of the altar. Everytime I light a candle in front of Mama Mary on the right side of the church, I can see her up on her place. As I look up at her, I say a silent prayer …my petition.  

Searching churches to visit, I chanced upon the St. Therese of the Infant Jesus Parish which is very near the place of my daughter. Except for the St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, the other churches are closed when there is no ongoing Mass. However, we tried to go to the St. Therese Catholic Church in Colonel Light Gardens, a suburb in the City of Mitcham. It was only a few kilometers from Ashford, the suburb where my family lives. It was closed when we arrived as the weekday Mass was already done an hour ago. But the caretaker saw us and opened the church for us. 

And there at the entry was the statue of St. Therese, welcoming us and at the base of her statue was the vase of fresh yellow roses.

There is a part of the church dedicated to her. There is her statue, a table with her photos. At the rear of the church is for church goers with children. Again, there is a frame with her photo. This is one experience here in Adelaide that I will remember. I hope, I will have another chance to go back.


ST. Therese Novena of 24 Glory Be to the Father – the Origin

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This novena came from a Jesuit priest, Father Putigan, and he began saying the novena on December 3, 1925 when he asked the good saint for a favor or petition. Being a novena, he recited 24 Glory be to the Father everyday. This is his sign of gratitude to the Holy Trinity for all the favors and graces showered upon St. Therese during the 24 years of her life on Earth.

He asked for a sign that the petition is heard and that sign would be a freshly plucked rose. On the third day of this novena, Father Putigan was sought by a stranger who presented to him a beautiful rose. That was the sign he asked for the answered prayer.

On December 24 of that same month and year, Father Putigan once more said this novena. The Jesuit was very specific this time, asking for a white rose as a sign of a grated petition. On the fourth day of his Novena, a sister-nurse presented to him the white rose.  The presenter told him that the rose was sent by St. Therese.

Here is the sister-nurse’s story about the rose. She was in a chapel and upon leaving, she passed by a hanging beautiful picture of St. Therese. The rose fell on her feet from a vase near St. Therese’s picture and instead of returning it to where it fell from, she thought of bringing it to Father Putigan.

Having received favors from our beloved saint, the priest made a promise to himself and that is to spread this novena for the purpose of increasing devotions to St. Therese and to bring honor to her.

You can say the novena anytime but if you do it from the 9th day to the 17th day of the month, you are joining the 24 Glory be to the Father novena brigade. You can ask for a favor from the great saint as you join the multitude of petitioners.

The 24 Glory be to the Father Novena to St. Therese

The “Glory be to the Father” praising the Holy Trinity is said twenty-four times each of the nine days, in thanksgiving for all the blessings and favors given to Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus during the twenty-four years of her life. In addition, this, or a similar prayer may be used:

“Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, I thank Thee for all the blessings and favors Thou hast showered upon the soul of Thy servant Theresa of the Child Jesus, during the twenty-four years she spent here on earth, and in consideration of the merits of this Thy most beloved Saint, I beseech Thee to grant me this favor (state your petition), if it is in accordance with Thy most Holy Will and is not an obstacle to my salvation.”

After this Prayer, follow the twenty-four “Glory Be’s,” between each of which may be included this short prayer:

Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.”


What It Takes to Become a Saint of the Catholic Church

Saints are ordinary people who lived in our world. In the past, the saints were martyrs but today, the Catholic Church recognizes exemplary good deeds of people to become saint. They may not be good people initially but because they were reformed, their sins were forgiven when they did remarkable things. The love of God is beyond measure and the big heart of our Lord embraces repentant sinners. And the penitent sinners have places in our eternal home.

We pray to saints for intercession. They help us in praying for the grant of our petitions. A majority of Catholics have their respective favorite saints. Shall we say that saints do have specialization? For instance, there are saints we pray for cancer patients (Sts. Peregrine, Ezequiel, Agatha) and there is a saint for heart ailment (St. Clara de Montefalco). St. Gerald Majella is the saint for expectant mothers as St. Joseph is the patron saint for the family and happy death. But many had prayed for the intercession of St. Therese of Lisieux referred to as the “Prodigy of Miracles” and “Greatest Saint of Modern Times”. And there are more other saints we always ask for intercession.

What does it really take to be among the saints? It is a long process and there are four stages – Servant of God, Venerable, Blessed and Saint.

Servant of God

This is the first stage and should start at the diocese level.  The religious person to start the inquiry is bishop with jurisdiction. The jurisdiction is the place where the candidate to become a servant of God died or was buried. This may not be restrictive as even an ordinary religious person can be authorized to open or initiate the process or investigation. There must be petition executed by the faithful, normally after five years of the candidate’s death. This requirement may be waived by the Pope. Investigation will be conducted, tracing the biography and the doings of the candidate. Recommendation for the “Causes of Saints” is made where a postulator is assigned to lead the investigation. There may be cases when the dead body is exhumed – perhaps for further examination.


Having enough information, the congregation will make recommendation to the Holy Father to proclaim the heroic virtues of the Servant of God. Among the virtues are faith, hope, charity, justice, fortitude, temperance and more that could be considered to reach the heroic degree. He or she will then be called Venerable or Heroic in Virtue. Unlike the Saints, the Venerables are not yet bestowed with feast days. However, people can pray to them for their intercession for miracles.


To be beatified, one must be a martyr or a confessor. Once beatified, the Venerable is called “Blessed”. It only takes the Pope to declare martyrdom for a Venerable to be elevated as Blessed. Non-martyrs are confessors of their faith and must have done miracles through their intercession. God lets them do miracles, usually cures; such person enjoyed “Beatific Vision by God” in response to prayers. Miraculous cures are today the easiest bases for blessedness. These candidates for sainthood will now have their feast days but only where they died or lived.


The blessed becomes saint with canonization. To be canonized, an additional miracle must be attributed through the intercession of the Blessed. Again, this is usually miraculous cure. This is fulfilled “Beatific Vision” and would be investigated and validated. Saints have Feast Days anywhere Catholicism is practiced. Parish churches may be built in their honor and their feasts will be celebrated without any restrictions.

To all these – Spouses Louis and Zelie Martin, parents of St. Therese of the Child Jesus had passed and will then be canonized in October, 2015. In addition, the steps towards this process are now underway for St. Therese’s sister, Leonie. (A page in this blog will be dedicated to Sps Louis and Zelie Martin and another page to Leonie.)

Canonization of St. Therese’s Parents – A Joy to Devotees



The scheduled canonization of Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin is another milestone. The parents of our heavenly best friend will be the first couple to be canonized together.

Sps. Louis and Zelie Martin were beatified on account of the miraculous healing of an Italian baby from Milan, Pietro Schiliro. The canonization is based on another cure – of Carmen, a little girl from Valencia, Spain.

I am a breast cancer survivor (going on my 7th year from the time the illness was diagnosed – January of 2009). I had been praying to St. Therese and the breast cancer patroness, St. Agatha. As a read the biography of Blessed Azelie Guarin-Martin, I discovered that St. Therese’s mother died of breast cancer. That was then the beginning –  I invoked the intercession of Blessed Zelie along with with my prayers to St. Agatha for the continuous cure of my ailment.

Blesed Louis and Zelie Martin are exemplary parents and along with St. Joseph who is my patron saint for my family, I now also invoke the intercession of Spouses Louis and Zelie as protectors of my family.

I had been praying for intercessions of the Martin couple – for anyone who needs miracles and there was. Thank you Lord, Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin will soon be among the saints.

Where To Go Devotees of St Therese of the Child Jesus

To any devotee of St. Therese, here are 4 shrines/churches dedicated in her honor. If you want to visit her, choose the nearest to your location. (I have gone to all these 4)

Shrine of St. Therese Shrine in Manlunas St., Pasay City – This is located across NAIA Terminal 3, near Resort World. This is a columbarium.ImageSta. Teresita del Nino Jesus Church – 43 Kanlaon St. Sta. Mesa Heights, Q.C. This is near the Q.C. Welcome Rotonda, also near Our Lady Of Lourdes Shrine.


Carmel of St. Therese of Liseux in Gilmore, New Manila, Quezon City. It is very near the Gilmore Computer Center and St. Paul’s College, Quezon City.


St. Therese of the Child Jesus Shrine in  Marcos Highway, Barangay Mayamot (Masinag), Antipolo, Rizal. You find this shrine after Filinvest Subdivision, near Masinag Market or across SM Masinag. You can drop by before going to Antip0lo City Proper.


The Little Way Of St. Therese

“I feel that my mission is about to begin, my mission to make God loved as I love Him, to teach souls my little way.

I wish to show souls that little way, that is to cast Jesus the flowers of little sacrifices, to captivate Him by caresses.

My way is the way of spiritual childhood, the way of trust and absolute confidence; a way that is very straight, very short and very new.

I just do what children have to do before they’ve learnt to read – I tell God what I want quite simply, without any splendid turns of phrase, and somehow He always manages to understand me.”

                                                                                                                                                   St. Therese