Family Traditions: feast days

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Oct. 1 was no ordinary day for me as a child. I was born knowing that the first day of October was my feast day, and it was always so special.

After attending World Youth Day in Paris in 1997, my parents obtained a strong devotion to St. Thérèse and prayed to her and her family as they began to grow their own, and, of course, named their only daughter after her.

St. Thérèse grew up in Lisieux, France, and entered into a Carmelite convent at the age of fifteen. Surrounded by her holy family, she created a “little way” to holiness through small acts of love, even through suffering.

I have a plethora of “rose stories” from the Little Flower. I would wake up to a vase of roses on my nightstand before school, walk out to a huge bouquet on the dining table, and even receive a trail of roses on my way to class from St. Thérèse herself. 

There was a nearby rosebush at my school, and the wind blew the petals along the pathway when we changed classes — I immediately knew that it was St. Thérèse!

My special feast day was a day to thank God for all the blessings in life and to celebrate the life of the wonderful little saint that I was named after, and I had always been fortunate enough to experience God’s unique love and grace every single year on that day.

This year, I struggled to have hope during my feast day. Since I’m a freshman, being away from home on this special day for the first time was hard since it has been such a crucial part of my life. But God, and St. Thérèse, did not disappoint me.

I got a notification from the mailroom last Friday during lunch that I got a delivery. I scrolled down to the attached picture and saw that it was a small bouquet of flowers.

I had the biggest smile on my face and left lunch immediately to go pick them up. I was so happy and moved that my parents went the extra mile to still deliver my roses to me.

Then, as I walked back to my room, I found a single rose above a sign on my door! Whoever the person was, I felt the immense love that comes from being seen by the Father, and I am so grateful that my feast day was just as special this year.

Throughout the week, I encountered many people who shared their own “rose stories” and ways that they celebrate the feast of St. Thérèse. My heart was so pleased to know that she is as loved by others as she is by me and my family.

I also thought about how amazing it was to be able to attend the Inauguration Mass on the feast of St. Thérèse, almost like she was telling me that my years here will be just as grace-filled.

I hope you celebrate your feast day, too! If you have a special way to be festive, please share it with the newspaper — we love celebrations!

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