St. Therese of Lisieux, affectionately called the Little Flower, has won over countless devotees because of her reputation of sending roses to those who requested her intercession.
Catholic musician Jacob Rudd, who lives in Wisconsin, received a rose from St. Therese and wrote his songas a tribute to her and to make her intercession more well known. Jacob was in the seminary studying to be a priest. When a decision had to be made to go on from college seminary to major seminary, he began to question whether God was calling him to the priesthood that he loved so much. He asked St. Therese to send a rose to aid in his discernment: a red rose if he was called to marriage and no rose if he should continue towards priesthood.
St. Therese was a Carmelite nun, and because there was a Carmelite monastery in Jacob’s diocese, he decided it would be best to spend a few days on retreat at the monastery as a way to be more connected to St. Therese. During that mini-retreat, he devoured the book Story of a Family by Stephane-Joseph Piat, which detailed the beautiful marriage of Louis and Zellie Martin, the parents of St. Therese. It was while reading that book, his novena prayer, and the daily walk from the retreat house to the monastery, that Rudd began to sing out to the birds in the sky and the snow in the trees the words to the chorus of “Roses”: “Shower on me roses from the garden, shower on me heaven’s love.”
Jacob ended his retreat at the monastery uncertain what God would ask of him, but he was open to either vocation. Back at the seminary, he met up with his friends, one of whom had just returned from studying abroad in Europe. He opened his breviary (the Liturgy of the Hours prayer book) and handed Jacob a red rose he picked at the home of St. Therese in Lisieux, France, a flower that should never have been picked because of the posted sign “Please do not pick flowers from the garden” he missed seeing. Apparently God knew what he was doing, and St. Therese was orchestrating the whole thing from heaven. Since the deed was done, he brought it home.
Jacob received the rose with a stunned a look on his face, in awe of what God had just done. He told nobody about his prayer and request. His decision about continuing on to major seminary was confirmed by a rose sent from heaven. And to make the story even sweeter, he met his future wife the day after he left the seminary.
Jacob Rudd now dedicates his life as a Catholic musician writing songs about the saints, Jesus, discipleship and family. He hopes through his music to communicate the beauty of the Catholic faith and lead others into a deeper encounter with Jesus and the Church. To learn more about Jacob’s music, visit his website: https://jacobruddmusic.com.
If you are praying a novena to St. Therese for a special intention in anticipation of her October 1 feast day, you might wish to sing along with Jacob, and ask St. Therese to shower on you roses from the garden, heaven’s love.