National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica

National Shrine of the Little Flower, 2100 Twelve Mile Rd, Royal Oak, Michigan, Združene države Amerike

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Since its founding in 1926, the Shrine has been a place where pilgrims from near and far come to celebrate and deepen their faith.  The example of their patroness, St. Thérèse and her little way of doing small things with great love has inspired many to come closer to Christ.

At the National Shrine, they celebrate a long tradition of faith dedicated to the spirituality of the Little Flower, Saint Thérèse of Lisieux.

See more Catholic Shrines and pilgrimages in North America.

See the original Basilica of St Therese of the Child Jesus, Lisieux in France with the tomb of Saint Thérèsethe Little Flower.

Story of my soul, first published in 1898 in a highly edited version, quickly became a modern spiritual classic, read by millions and translated into dozens of languages around the world. See the book here: Story of a Soul The Autobiography of St Therese of Lisieux.

St. Thérèse of the Infant Jesus – the Little Flower

When she was 9 years old, Thérèse entrusted to the Carmel prioress her desire to become a Carmelite, the same as her sister Pauline. In 1888, at the age of 15, she entered Carmel and took the name of Thérèse of the Infant Jesus, in memory of Teresita de Jésus, the niece of Thérèse d’Avila, who entered the cloister at the age of 9 years.

She took the veil in January 1889. During her nine years of religious life, Thérèse was assigned to a number of different duties: laundry, refectory, sacristy, painting workshop, pottery. She was in charge of writing poems, canticles, prayers and pious recreational activities. See top 15 Catholic shrines in the world

In 1893, Pauline (Mother Agnès of Jesus) was appointed prioress of the community. Céline also entered Carmel, after taking care of Mr. Martin, who suffered from mental illness and paralysis, until his death. Thus, the four sisters: Pauline, Marie, Thérèse, and Céline were reunited.

In 1895, Pauline asked Thérèse to write her Story of St Therese of Lisieux which she completed one year later. In 1897, while suffering from tuberculosis, she wrote about her spiritual life. She died on 30 September 1897. The local newspaper announced almost anonymously: the “death of Marie-Françoise-Thérèse Martin, 24 years 9 months, a nun at Carmel, rue de Livarot”.

Since the publication of her memoirs, Thérèse has been known and loved throughout the world and people come from far and wide to pay tribute to her at Lisieux.

Thérèse began writing down her childhood memories at the request of her blood sisters in the Lisieux Carmel, few could have guessed the eventual outcome. Yet this Story of my soul, first published in 1898 in a highly edited version, quickly became a modern spiritual classic, read by millions and translated into dozens of languages around the world. See the book here:  Story of a Soul The Autobiography of St Therese of Lisieux

On December 23, 2014 – Pope Francis grants National Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak the honorary title of ‘Minor Basilica’

Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron announced on January 31, 2014 that the Holy Father, Pope Francis, granted the title of Minor Basilica to the National Shrine of the Little Flower Church in Royal Oak.

The title is given to churches around the world to denote a particular importance in liturgical and pastoral life and a closer relationship with the pope.

The title of Major Basilica is reserved to churches in Rome.“By honoring the National Shrine of the Little Flower with the designation as a Minor Basilica, Pope Francis has blessed all of us in the Archdiocese of Detroit,” said Archbishop Vigneron.

National Shrine of the Little Flower Architecture

A dramatic limestone Art Deco tower called the Charity Crucifixion Tower, completed in 1931, features integrated figural sculptures by Rene Paul Chambellan, including a large figure of Christ on the cross, 28 ft (8.5 m) high on the Woodward Avenue façade. It was built as a response to the Ku Klux Klan as a “cross they could not burn”. The sides and rear feature windows inside the crucifix which can be lit from within. At the upper corners of the tower are symbols of the Four Evangelists. Carved below the feet of the figure of Christ are the Seven Last Words. Just below them is a doorway with “Charity” and “Christ Crucified” carved above it. On the sides of the doorframe are depictions of items associated with the Passion. The doorway leads to a small balcony which can serve as a pulpit. On the front are carved depictions the Archangels Jophiel, Raphael, Michael, Gabriel and Uriel. The pulpit is flanked by depictions of John the Apostle and the Virgin Mary to the left and a Roman Centurion holding a spear and Mary Magdalene on the right. Across the terrace facing the crucifix a depiction of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux is carved into the surrounding wall. This sculpture is also by Chambellan.

National Shrine of the Little Flower Architecture

A dramatic limestone Art Deco tower called the Charity Crucifixion Tower, completed in 1931, features integrated figural sculptures by Rene Paul Chambellan, including a large figure of Christ on the cross, 28 ft (8.5 m) high on the Woodward Avenue façade. It was built as a response to the Ku Klux Klan as a “cross they could not burn”. The sides and rear feature windows inside the crucifix which can be lit from within. At the upper corners of the tower are symbols of the Four Evangelists. Carved below the feet of the figure of Christ are the Seven Last Words. Just below them is a doorway with “Charity” and “Christ Crucified” carved above it. On the sides of the doorframe are depictions of items associated with the Passion. The doorway leads to a small balcony which can serve as a pulpit. On the front are carved depictions the Archangels Jophiel, Raphael, Michael, Gabriel and Uriel. The pulpit is flanked by depictions of John the Apostle and the Virgin Mary to the left and a Roman Centurion holding a spear and Mary Magdalene on the right. Across the terrace facing the crucifix a depiction of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux is carved into the surrounding wall. This sculpture is also by Chambellan.

Behind the tower are doors leading to large chapel that connect the tower with the main sanctuary. The altar of the chapel is within the base of the tower. The octagonal nave seats three thousand on two levels, with the altar in the center. The main building is granite and limestone, with exterior and elaborate interior sculptural work by Corrado Parducci, including a lectern and Stations of the Cross, and hand-painted murals by Beatrice Wilczynski. The stunning octagon-shaped granite baptismal font was designed by renowned liturgical artists Robert Rambusch and Mario Agustin Locsin y Montenegro.

In 1998, the United States Bishops’ Conference declared the site a National Shrine, one of only five in the country.

National Shrine of the Little Flower

National Shrine of the Little Flower Catholic Church in Royal Oak, Michigan is a well known Roman Catholic Church and National Shrine executed in the lavish zig-zag Art Deco style. The structure was completed in two stages between 1931 and 1936, and remains the third largest building in Royal Oak. The sanctuary stands at 1200 West Twelve Mile Road at the northeast corner of Woodward Avenue and is a parish of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit. Construction was funded by the proceeds of the radio ministry of the controversial Father Charles Coughlin who broadcast from the tower during the 1930s.

Named in honor of Saint Thérèse de Lisieux (who was also known as the Little Flower), the church was first built in 1926 in a largely Protestant area. Two weeks after it opened, the Ku Klux Klan burned a cross in front of the church. The original wood structure was destroyed by a fire March 17, 1936. Construction of the new building started in 1931 and ended in 1936. Its completion was spurred by the destruction of the old structure and it employed large amounts of copper and stone to execute the designs of architect Henry J. McGill, of the New York firm of McGill and Hamlin.

On December 23, 2014 – Pope Francis grants National Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak the honorary title of ‘Minor Basilica’

Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron announced on January 31, 2014 that the Holy Father, Pope Francis, granted the title of Minor Basilica to the National Shrine of the Little Flower Church in Royal Oak. The title is given to churches around the world to denote a particular importance in liturgical and pastoral life and a closer relationship with the pope. The title of Major Basilica is reserved to churches in Rome.“By honoring the National Shrine of the Little Flower with the designation as a Minor Basilica, Pope Francis has blessed all of us in the Archdiocese of Detroit,” said Archbishop Vigneron.

Posted in North America and United States