Readers, this is not a post about current events, not really. It is not a rant for or against the death penalty, nor is it a vilification of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the young man who set off a bomb at the Boston Marathon and was this week sentenced to death. This is just a plea for prayer for a very lost young man who desperately needs to find Christ.
In 1887, a murderer by the name of Pranzini was sentenced to death in France. This widely publicized story was seen by a young girl named Thérèse Martín, who had a deep devotion to the mercy and love of Christ. She began storming the heavens for the repentance and conversion of the murderer, instead of rejoicing over his death. She kept what was really important in mind- not that a man was dying, but that a man could die without accepting Christ. And then, as Pranzini was mounting the scaffold to be executed, he asked for a crucifix, so that he could kiss the wounds of Christ in repentance for his wrongs. St. Thérèse’s prayers had worked! The man had been saved!
And that, Christians, should be our example. No matter whether we believe that Tsarnaev should die or live, we should all be praying as hard as we can that he will repent. We absolutely cannot claim to be on the side of justice if we don’t see Tsarnaev, or any other criminal, as human– as someone made in the image and likeness of God, made for heaven, and then pray with all our hearts that he makes it there. So today, and for the next nine days, I’m asking everyone who reads this to pray a novena to St. Thérèse of Lisieux, for the salvation of the soul of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. I’m including the novena prayers here for easy reference (or you can be like me and print them out to tape beside your bed!)
“Glorious St. Therese, whom Almighty God has raised up to aid and inspire the human family, I implore your Miraculous Intercession. You are so powerful in obtaining every need of body and spirit from the Heart of God. Holy Mother Church proclaims you “Prodigy of Miracles… the greatest saint of Modern Times.” Now I fervently beseech you to answer my petition (mention here) and to carry out your promises of spending heaven doing good on earth… of letting fall from Heaven a Shower of Roses. Little Flower, give me your childlike faith, to see the Face of God in the people and experiences of my life, and to love God with full confidence. St. Therese, my Carmelite Sister, I will fulfill your plea “to be made known everywhere” and I will continue to lead others to Jesus through you ~ Amen.
O Little Therese of the Child Jesus,please pick for me a rose from the heavenly gardens and send it to me as a message of love.O Little Flower of Jesus,ask God to grant the favors I now place with confidence in your hands… (Mention specific requests)… St. Therese, help me to always believe as you did in God’s great love for me,so that I might imitate your “Little Way” each day.~Amen~
Love to all!