As far as saints go, St Thérèse of Lisieux seems a little bit lame. St Thérèse, who died in 1897 from tuberculosis at the age of 24, is known as the Little Flower of Jesus. She apparently prayed for the conversion of a triple murderer who refused to confess but just before he was guillotined, he grabbed a crucifix from a priest and starting kissing it. That’ll be the miracle then, I guess.
The Roman Catholic Church has decided to send her relics on a tour of Cathedrals round the UK so that the devout can kiss the box that contain her bones as they pray. Frankly, if that’s what lights your candle so be it. But I am more concerned by the report that some of her relics are to be taken into space in 2011 by the US astronaut Ronald Garan. I thought Charles Simonyi urinating on the Russian Cosmonaut launch bus for luck was bad enough. Transporting St Thérèse’s bones into space doesn’t seem appropriate as part of a scientific expedition. What if the bones are cursed? I mean she didn’t exactly stop the guy getting his head chopped off and her bones failed to avert the war in Iraq when they were taken there in 2002. I mean really, relics in space?
Anyway, the dean of Northampton Cathedral Canon Udris said of Thérèse, “One of her characteristics was to break down walls. ”
That could be handy as her bones are due to visit Her Majesty’s Prison Wormwood Scrubs in October.