Harrisville, Rhode Island: Shrine of The Little Flower
The history of the Shrine of The Little Flower in Harrisville:
This is the first shrine in the world built to honor Saint Therese of Lisieux (the Little Flower), having been constructed in 1923, just a few months after she was Beatified.
Rev. A. P. Desrochers was named the first pastor and first said Mass here on Sunday, August 26. At the suggestion of the Bishop, the parish was one of the first to take St. Theresa as it’s patron.
The Miracle that Changed Everything:
Although it was not originally intended to be a shrine, a miracle that took place soon after it was built changed all that. Father Desrochers had recently been appointed pastor of the new parish when a sick woman, Mrs. Florilda Faford, who had an incurable disease, was miraculously healed. She had been sick for 8 years and had undergone several major surgeries, but the doctors in Boston had given up hope of her recovering.
Father Desrochers prayed over her, and asked her to place herself in the hands of the recently declared saint. Unable to even speak, she acknowledged this request by blinking her eyes. The next morning he visited her again and she was well enough to speak and receive a particle of the Sacred Host. Then, early that afternoon, Mrs. Faford got up from her bed with no help whatsoever and walked to the kitchen where her sister almost fainted at the sight. Although she had been unable to eat for the last three days she promptly ate lunch. The doctors who had been treating her declared it to be a miracle.
Over the years the shrine grew, and then fell into a state of neglect, until 1981, when Rev. Robert Carpentier was appointed pastor. Under his guidance parishoners began to reclaim the grounds and yearly devotions and outdoor Masses where held. Subsequent pastors continued to add to the Shrine.
Today it includes a Pieta (placed by the Knights of Columbus), outdoor Stations of the Cross, a 15 decade living Rosary with a statue of Our Lady of Peace sitting atop a fountain and more. It is a great place for prayer and reflection. The latest addition is a shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Each year, the Annual Feast Day is held on the third Sunday of August. Personal and group visits are welcome at any time.
Traveling to the Shrine of The Little Flower in Harrisville:
Address: 35 Dion Drive Harrisville, Rhode Island 02830
GPS coordinates: 41° 59′ 0.8340” N, 71° 37′ 0.8832” W
Tel: +1 (401) 568-8280
Click here for the official website of the Shrine of The Little Flower in Harrisville, Rhode Island
There is also a Shrine to Saint Therese at the opposite end of the U.S., in Juneau, Alaska.