I have always thought that the statue of Our Lady of the Smile was so very beautiful. I think I may ask for it for my birthday this year. I have been reading a lot lately (trying to pass the time and keep my mind off the baby--D and C is scheduled for this Wednesday) and found a beautiful prayer to Our Lady under this title. I could retell the story about Our Lady and St. Therese but I'll let Peter Mullen do it instead. God bless you all today. Our Lady, pray for us. St. Therese, pray for us.
From Shrines of Our Lady by Peter Mullen
As a child, St. Therese had an encounter with Mary that forever changed the course of her life. When she was a young girl in France, she became quite ill. The doctor informed Therese's father that nothing more could be done for her.
Her family was no stranger to suffering. They had just lost their mother from breast cancer.
Her father arranged for Mass to be said for her healing at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Victories. He also moved into Therese's room a statue of the Blessed Virgin known as Our Lady of the Smile (a favorite of the Martin children who used to shower it with kisses)
On May 13, 1883, Therese recovered. She ascribed her healing to the presence of the statue:
"Suddenly, I have never seen anything so attractive. Her face was alive with great kindness and tenderness and she smiled a most ravishing smile. At once all my pain left me and I cried two large tears which slid down silently down my cheeks. Yes! I thought, the virgin has smiled on me. How Blessed I am!"
Her sister Marie was there at the time, and much later at the hearings for Therese's beatification, she testified to what had happened when saw Therese in ecstasy. "I knew at once she was looking at no mere statue but that she saw the Blessed Virgin herself. It lasted about five minutes. I knew she would be cured."
In 1895 Therese developed tuberculosis in both lungs. She suffered terrible hemorrhages and had to be taken from her cell to the infirmary. The statue of Our Lady of the Smile was placed at the foot of her bed.
On 30 September 1897 Therese lay dying when suddenly she raised her head from her pillow and gazed in ecstasy at the statue. After a few minutes she sighed, fell back on to the bed and died. Her sister Marie was with her. Later she reported, "Her stare was held fixed a little above the statue and I saw again that look on her face she first displayed as a child --- all love and adoration --- when the Blessed Virgin had healed her. It is impossible to describe, except to say it was something heavenly"
Prayer to Our Lady of the Smile
Gentle Mary, My Mother,
I place before you the worries,
hurts and hopes of my heart.
They shrink my soul and I feel heavy and hopeless.
Darkness closes in around me.
I reach out to you, bright Lady of Hope.
Smile on me.
Smile on my loved ones and the intentions I place before you.
(Mention your intentions here...)
Your tender smile works miracles and heals,
as you did with St. Thérèse, the Little Flower.
You are my true Mother.
You show the tender mercy of God.
Smile on me, Blessed Mother,
and all will be well.