Countless people (even Pope Francis) attest to the mysterious appearance of roses at the end of their novena in honor of St. Therese of Lisieux.
It is not very often that God will allow a visible, tangible sign that confirms a particular prayer request. Often we are left confused and not entirely certain that God heard our prayers (though sometimes we will look back and see God’s hand at work regardless of a sign).
On the other hand, St. Therese of Lisieux, a Carmelite nun who lived during the late 1800s, has repeatedly been the channel through which God has confirmed countless prayer intentions. She said before she died, “My mission — to make God loved — will begin after my death … I will spend my heaven doing good on earth. I will let fall a shower of roses.”
While this bold claim can be interpreted in a spiritual way, many people believe that St. Therese has answered their prayers with a physical rose.
Pope Francis is one of the most well-known proponents of the “rose novena.” According to the Catholic News Agency, Pope Francis said to journalists, “When I don’t know how things are going to go, I have the custom of asking Saint Therese of the Child Jesus to take the problem into her hands and that she send me a rose.”
The pope reportedly will receive white roses in answer to a prayer, while others claim they receive red roses at the conclusion of their nine days of prayer.
While people might ask if there are particular “magic words” that will make the rose appear, there exists no such thing. God does not respond to prayers that are insincere and are only looking for a sign. God rewards those who pray from their heart and who are prepared to do his will, no matter what the result may be.
Those who pray the rose novena do so out of their love of God and their desire to follow the “little way” of St. Therese. She taught during her life how we should “do small things with great love.” Whatever it is, even it is washing the dishes, the key is to do it with great love.
Technically the rose novena does not require a specific “formula” to invoke St. Therese’s intercession, but for those who are not sure what to pray, below is the most common prayer that millions of souls have prayed over the years. Often people will pray this for a period of nine days and at the end of the nine days, a rose might appear to confirm that prayer intention. You are never guaranteed a rose, but to someone who is ready to receive God’s will, anything is possible.
O Little Therese of the Child Jesus
Please pick for me a rose
from the heavenly garden
and send it to me
as a message of love.
O Little Flower of Jesus,
ask God to grant the favors
I now place with confidence
in your hands
( mention your special prayer request here ).
St. Therese, help me to always believe
as you did, in God’s great love for me,
so that I may imitate your “Little Way” each day.