As the pilgrim relic of Saint Therese of Lisieux, popularly known as Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, visits the Philippines for the fifth time, Lipa Archbishop Emeritus Ramon Arguelles encouraged the faithful in Asia to continue her mission for the entire continent.
In an interview with Radio Veritas, he pointed out that St. Therese dreamed of journeying Asia to spread the Christian faith and to proclaim God’s love to mankind.
“[K]ung humaba ang buhay niya ay gusto niya maging missionary dito sa Asia sapagkat nakita niya na kailangan ng Asia ang faith. So, we have to continue to fulfill her dreams. We are missionaries of St. Thérèse for the Asian people, especially. Sabi nga ni Pope Francis, ‘maybe not only in Asia but throughout the world’,” he said.
He also emphasized the virtues that people who are losing their faith in God can learn from her.
“St. Therese wants us to live ‘yung talagang kanyang little childhood—the way of love and confidence. Nagtitiwala tayo sa Diyos at alam nating mahal tayo ng Diyos. Many people do not know that kaya nga maraming taong hindi nila alam that God is real, at Siya’y talagang responsible sa ating buhay,” Archbishop Arguelles stressed.
Arguelles, also the Bishop Emeritus of the Military Ordinate of the Philippines (MOP), concelebrated the welcome Mass for the saint’s pilgrim relic on January 2 with the Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, Archbishop Charles John Brown and the current Military Ordinary, Bishop Oscar Jaime Florencio at the Shrine of St. Therese of the Child Jesus in Pasay City.
Her pilgrim relic’s visit this year with the theme “Lakbay Tayo, St. Therese! Kaalagad, Kaibigan, Ka-Misyon” will travel in 53 archdioceses around the country until April 23, 2023.
Marie Francoise-Therese Martin was born on January 2, 1873 in Alencon, France and died of complications of tuberculosis at age 24 on September 30, 1897 in Lisieux, France.
She was canonized on May 17, 1925 by Pope Pius XI and became the youngest Doctor of the Church through Pope John Paul’s Apostolic Letter entitled “Divini Amoris Scientia” (The Science of Divine Love) on October 19, 1997. (Lem Leal Santiago/Volunteer Writer/RCAM-AOC | photo from the Facebook Page of the 5th Visit of the Relics of St. Therese to the Philippines)