Family traditions: feast days | University news

Thérèse Castillo disguised as Saint Thérèse during a All Saints’ Day procession in 2006. Photo courtesy of Thérèse Castillo

October 1 was not an ordinary day for me as a child. I was born knowing that the first day of October was my birthday, and it was always so special.

After attending World Youth Day in Paris in 1997, my parents got a strong devotion to Saint Teresa and prayed to her and her family as they started to grow up and, of course, gave her name to their only daughter.

Saint Thérèse grew up in Lisieux, France, and entered a Carmelite convent at the age of fifteen. Surrounded by her holy family, she created a “little way” towards holiness through small acts of love, even suffering.

I have a plethora of “Rose Stories” from the Little Flower. I would wake up with a vase of roses on my bedside table before school, walk over to a huge bouquet on the dining table, and even get a trail of roses on my way to class from Saint Therese herself.

There was a rose bush next to my school, and the wind blew the petals along the path when we changed classes РI immediately knew it was Saint Th̩r̬se!

My special feast day was a day to thank God for all the blessings of life and to celebrate the life of the wonderful little saint whose name I am named, and I have always been blessed to experience love and the unique grace of God each year. That day.

This year, I struggled to have hope at my party. Since I was in first grade, being away from home on this special day for the first time has been difficult because it has been such a crucial part of my life. But God and Saint Teresa did not disappoint me.

I received a notification from the mail room last Friday during lunch that I had a delivery. I went down to the attached photo and saw that it was a small bunch of flowers.

I had the biggest smile on my face and immediately left lunch to pick them up. I was so happy and moved that my parents went the extra mile to continue delivering my roses to me.

Then, as I walked back to my room, I found a single rose above a sign on my door! Whoever the person is, I have felt the immense love that has just been seen by the Father, and I am so grateful that my birthday is just as special this year.

Throughout the week, I met many people who shared their own “rose stories” and their ways of celebrating the feast of Saint Teresa. My heart was so happy to know that she is as loved by others as she is by me and my family.

I also thought how amazing it was to be able to attend the inaugural Mass on the feast of Saint Teresa, almost as if she was telling me that my years here will be just as full of grace.

Hope you celebrate your birthday too! If you have a special way of being festive, share it with the journal – we love celebrations!