Therese of Lisieux (2 January 1873 – 30 September 1897), born Marie Françoise Therese Martin, was a French Carmelite nun and is also known as “The Little Flower of Jesus”. She was declared a Doctor of the Church on October 19, 1997 by Pope John Paul II and together with St. Francis Xavier she is the patron saint of missionaries.
Father Hatcher’s story:
“When I came to St. Francis Mission, knowing I needed a strong person in my corner, I placed the work in the care of St. Therese. To explain why I did this let me tell you a story.
“In August,1993 I turned 50 years old. A month later a group of us were out cutting wood eight miles from the Sioux Spiritual Center where I worked at the time. We spent all morning working to get our wood supply in before winter set in. After lunch I started the chain saw and within a minute had to sit down. I felt weak and knew something was wrong. A priest friend drove me to the Sioux Spiritual Center where it was discovered my blood pressures was out of sight. He then drove me one hundred miles to Spearfish South Dakota to see my doctor.
“The doctor put me in the hospital and my priest friend anointed me before returning home. The next morning the nurse came in to say that the blood work showed I had had a heart attack. Naturally I was shocked. Just after she left, an elderly Irish priest came to see me and insisted on anointing me again. after which he prayed the prayer to St. Therese as he had a deep devotion to her.
“An ambulance took me to the regional hospital in Rapid City South Dakota fifty miles away. The next morning the doctor did an angiogram and angioplasty. and discovered an artery in the back to the heart that was 97% closed. Had I simply gone to bed at home, I probably would not be tormenting you with this story.
“Three days after the Irish priest’s prayer to St. Therese, a good friend of mine, the director of Native Concerns for the Diocese, came into the hospital room and gave me a rose. It was the only rose to bloom on her rosebush all summer and it bloomed that morning. When I was telling this story to my priest friend from Spearfish, he said that when he came into the hospital room he smelled roses but couldn’t see any of them.
“The tradition is that, if you pray to St. Therese and receive a rose within three days, the prayer request will be granted.
“Since this incident I have had a close relationship with St. Therese. So I asked her to watch over St. Francis Mission. So far I believe she has done a remarkable job.”