Regular readers of the blog also know how important Thérèse has been to me since the series I wrote about her in 2012.
(If you don't know Thérèse, you can read my four part series about her starting here. Or see the sidebar on the main page of the blog.)
All that to say, I've been a huge fan of Thérèse for a few years now. So it came as a pleasant surprise to me to discover that there is a Basilica dedicated to Thérèse in San Antonio, a city I visit all the time.
On a recent trip to San Antonio I finally got to visit the The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower for the very first time. A bit about the Basilica:
The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower, the first National Shrine in the United States dedicated to St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the "Little Flower," was completed in San Antonio in 1931. When it was designated a basilica, it was the only basilica outside of Lisieux, France, dedicated to St. Thérèse...The Basilica attracts pilgrims dedicated to St. Thérèse all over the United States and throughout the world...Obviously, I was totally geeking out during my visit. A whole church dedicated to Thérèse! With a gift shop!
Perhaps the most treasured work of art at the basilica is a painting of St. Thérèse created by the saint's own blood sister, Céline Martin (Sr. Geneviève of the Holy Face). This 7 by 10 foot painting was part of the procession at the saint's canonization in Rome in 1927. It is located in the baptistery in the vestibule of the church. The Basilica is home to three first class relics of the Little Flower. Two are contained within the tomb chapel of St. St. Thérèse.
I was particularly excited to see the large (over seven feet tall) painting done by Thérèse's sister Céline. It's pictured here.