One morning I prayed to the Little Flower [St. Thérèse of Lisieux], whose picture is over the foot of my bed, that she would especially look after my mother. I reminded her of her own grief at her father’s long dying. That night Julia Porcelli brought me in some dried blessed roses. The next day, a friend brought a tiny bouquet with lace paper about it made up of roses and carnations, and my mother greeted it with a smile and held it in her hands a few times that afternoon. And it was that evening that she died, so quietly, so gently, saying but a few moments before to my brother, “Kiss me goodnight and run along, because I want to go to sleep.”
A week later when I went to Poughkeepsie to visit my three aunts, one of whom is a Catholic, and to go with them to offer up a Mass of thanksgiving for my mother’s most peaceful death, we came out of St. Peter’s church that misty morning to be greeted by a brilliant rose in the garden next to the Church. And when we arrived home for breakfast, there was a bouquet telegraphed to us from Florida and in the center of the fall flowers were two lovely roses. The little Flower was prompt and generous indeed in her message.
I write the account because I like to show my gratitude by telling others of such favors. Perhaps, too, it may comfort others who have sore and lonely hearts over the approaching death of a near one. “Life is changed, not taken away,” and what a glorious change in these sad times, after a long and valiant life.
“Look down with favor, we beseech Thee, O Lord, upon the offering we make for the soul of Grace, thy servant; from heaven send healing to it, and bid it rest in the certainty of Thy love.”
“O Lord, the God of mercies, grant to the soul of Thy hand-maid a place of solace, of peaceful rest and of glorious light.”
Receiving roses, particularly in connection with St. Thérèse’s intercession, has long been seen to be a sign of God’s providence.
But how does it work?
First, a friend brought Dorothy some dried blessed roses. Then, another friend brought a small bouquet. Next, someone had to have planted roses once upon a time outside of the church that Dorothy was visiting. And finally, someone thought to telegraph a bouquet of roses.
What I take away from this is that God needs us to be His co-conspirators to help show His providence in the world.