On plane, Pope gets a gift from his ‘spiritual friend’ Saint Therese

Bogotá, Colombia, Sep 7, 2017 / 01:29 pm (CNA).- During his flight to Colombia Pope Francis received a white rose from a Colombian journalist, recalling his deep devotion to Saint Therese of Lisieux.

On various occasions, Pope Francis has spoken of his custom of asking favors from the saint, and her responses in his view are little “miracles.”

During the papal trip to Colombia Sept. 6, it was the journalist from Caracol Radio, Cesar Moreno, who gave the white rose to the Holy Father.

“When I gave it to him he said ‘Ah, we begin with dear Saint Therese! We’re getting off to a great start.’ So he liked it a lot and looked very happy. I felt very happy and joyful that I had pleased him,” the journalist told CNA.

Moreno said he had consulted “a couple of Argentine friends who knew Francis” about the devotion to Saint Therese of Lisieux, and they told him of “the significance the white rose has for him in moments of difficulty.”

“When they (difficulties) come up, it is said that the Pope thinks and feels that he can face them,” he added.

Moreno told how his mother is also devoted to Saint Therese of Lisieux and so she helped him prepare the gift: “the white rose, the figurine of Saint Therese of  Jesus with her holy card.”

In 2015, when Pope Francis traveled to the Philippines, he revealed that before every trip or a concern of his, he usually asks for “a rose” from Saint Therese of Lisieux, for whom he has a special devotion.

“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 told journalists at the time.

Pope Francis’ Sept. 6-11 trip to Colombia follows apostolic visits by two of his predecessors, Bl. Paul VI and St. John Paul II. During his trip, he plans to meet with bishops from the neighboring country of Venezuela, which is facing widespread chaos over government corruption.

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