The first time I really allowed myself to hear God’s voice was through St. Therese of Lisieux.
To make a long story short, I was living a life away from God — doing things I never thought I would do, seeking after worldly pleasures and validation in all the wrong places.
Eventually, I reached my lowest point. I realized I couldn’t continue on this path anymore. I felt such deep hopelessness, the ache of being unfulfilled.
Out of desperation, I threw my arms in the air and said, “God what do you want me to do? Your will be done, do it for me!”
It was around that time that my cousins were in town. While together, I heard them talking about a particular saint — St. Therese of Lisieux, who they absolutely adored because of all their experiences of receiving roses from her as a sign that God had heard their prayers.
I went home that day and thought, “Why not...I have nothing to lose...prove me wrong!”
Those words would change my life. Within the next two weeks, I received so many
signs from St. Therese.
And it started right away.
Upon finishing that declaration, I looked at the bracelet on my wrist. For the first time I noticed a predominant rose charm. My Nona had gifted it to me, but I’d never quite seen this particular charm before.
In that time, I made a new friend who, to my surprise, turned out to be a practicing Catholic. She insisted on praying for me during those two weeks. While spending time at the mall together, we walked into a store where an employee stopped us. More than anything, she wanted to let us know that her name was Rosshani...but we could just call her Rose!
We left, and I asked my friend — both of us now in tears, “Was that a sign, or am I imagining things?”
“Steph!” she replied, “turn around!”
I looked behind me and saw a massive window display of giant letters spelling “R O S E”. The display itself was surrounded by countless roses too!
Days later, I caught a glimpse of a prayer card in a magnet-holder on my fridge. I hadn’t noticed it before either. Upon seeing it, I asked my mom, “Who is this?”
She replied, “I don’t know, but we have a statue of her upstairs.”
I ran upstairs and found the statue. It was St. Therese! I immediately brought the statue to my room. I keep it on my desk to this day.
Shortly afterwards, while in line for confession — my first confession in years — a friend in front of me was rummaging through her purse. As she did, a St. Therese prayer card fell out and landed right at my feet! I couldn’t believe it!
I received so many
more confirmations from St.Therese within those two weeks; in fact I keep a whole journal to remember all the things that took place.
I call it my first novena with St. Therese!
Today my life is completely transformed. Not only do I practice my faith, but I’m also a youth minister at my parish and a Catholic singer-songwriter with a newly released album! Jesus is the centre of my life, and all I want to do the rest of my days is get to heaven and help others get to heaven too!
Thank you, St. Therese of Lisieux!
Stephanie Paglia is a youth minister and singer-songwriter in Toronto, Canada.
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