Our Feast Day celebration for St Thérèse took place at Aylesford Priory on 2nd October. The sun shone brightly encouraging some 350 pilgrims to make the journey to Kent and share in the celebration. As usual, these pilgrims included the ladies from the St Thérèse Society who always brighten the day with their colourful dresses in “St Thérèse” fabric.
The day began with our Welcome Service, at the start of which the petition banner was blessed and the intentions offered up. Earlier in the year, Society members were encouraged to send in their petitions to the Little Flower on small pieces of cloth which were then made in to a double-sided banner. After the banner blessing and readings, Fr Joseph Chalmers, O.Carm., founder of the Society of the Little Flower during his term of office as the Order’s Prior General, gave a talk on St. Thérèse placing the development of her Little Way – of an all-loving, merciful God – in the context of the Jansenist theories abounding in her lifetime.
Throughout the day, the pilgrims had an opportunity to view a photographic exhibition in St Joseph’s Chapel of some of the projects funded through generous donations to the Society over past years
After lunch, the Blessing of the Roses took place in front of the statue of St Thérèse in the garden by the Rosary Way. Pilgrims had the opportunity to purchase roses from the Society staff if they had not brought their own and all these were blessed by Fr Joseph during the short service.
The day ended with the celebration of Mass by Fr Kevin Alban. O. Carm, with Fr Joseph con-celebrating, in the beautiful Relic Chapel. As in previous years, the St Thérèse Society ladies brought up the offertory, including their own generous donations to the Carmelites, all the while singing a rousing African hymn to the saint.
To view a full selection of photographs from the day, please click here