Author, statue-rescuer reflects on upcoming feast, novena offered for St. Therese

By Celeste Zepponi
Arriving early, I decided to wait in the church meeting room before going to the Adoration room for my weekly hour of prayer. As I sat down on the couch, my eyes caught site of a statue of St. Therese, The Little Flower. I immediately felt drawn to walk over and take a closer look. I slowly asked myself, “Is this the one?”
I closely examined the perfectly painted eyes and skin, the beauty of her face. I noticed the soft folds in her Carmelite habit covering her body from head to toe, falling softly and humbly to her feet. In her arms, she held a large crucifix lavishly veiled with pink and yellow roses. Everything about the statue looked perfect. I sighed a deep breath and felt joyful as I said to myself, “Yes of course, this is the statue.”
My husband and I had rescued this statue years ago. I smiled as I remembered the morning we drove through McDonalds with the statue in the back of our truck. We laughed out loud wondering what the restaurant attendant must have thought as she viewed this big statue passing by the drive-through window as we picked up our sausage,egg, and cheese biscuits, and coffee.
At that time, a local mission church was tossing the statue for a more modern one and we just couldn’t bear the thought of it going in the dumpster! Instead, we took “St. Therese” on a ride through town that sunny morning, all the way to St. Elizabeth Catholic School. The statue resided in the music room for many years. Now it is safe for viewing in the church meeting room.
I am delighted to have been part of this journey, and I am certain there is more.
Having been refreshed in my affection for St. Therese through this beautiful statue, she just seems to keep showing up! Recently, while cleaning house and straightening books, I was surprised to find a holy card with the same image of St. Therese inside a book. Only days later, I opened a random page in another book to find her image revealed again.
I asked my priest if I should pay attention to these repeated reminders of St. Therese, The Little Flower? Was she trying to tell me something? Father Scott simply and firmly said, “Yes.” He later handed me a novena to St. Therese and of course, it has the same beautiful depiction of her on the cover!
Especially, well “coincidentally,” since her feast day is coming up very soon, Oct. 1st! Could St. Theresa be trying to tell us something?
I, like Father Scott, simply and firmly say, “YES!”
(Celeste Zepponi  is an author and artist. This reflection first appeared on
(Editor’s note: Greenwood Locus Benedictus Retreat Center is sponsoring a novena to St. Therese of the Little Flower Sept. 22-30 ending with a feast day Mass at the Chapel of Mercy on Thursday, Oct. 1, at 5:30 p.m.  If you would like your intentions remembered, send them in an envelope to Locus Benedictus, P. O. Box 10383, Greenwood, MS. 38930. The envelope will not be opened. Join us in honoring this modern-day saint who said “she would spend Heaven doing good upon Earth.”)