Below is one miracle recounted through the intercession of St. Therese.
On March 3, 1972, Nogent-le-Roi’s firefighters took me to the hospital in Dreux after I fell off a horse. I had lost consciousness, and my scalp was bleeding profusely.
Two days later, I was still unconscious. My condition had worsened, and an ambulance drove me urgently to the ophthalmological unit at the Hôtel-Dieu in Paris. I had a large exophthalmos: my right eye was swollen for no apparent reason. But the eye problem was incidental. I had hardly arrived when the ambulance left again for the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital. This was to remove an extradural temporobasal blood clot on my right side. I was in a coma and wasn’t aware of any of this.
There was a lesser aggravation. The appearance of a hemiplegia on the right side required another surgery on March 15. The exophthalmos was still very large and had required that my eye be sewn shut.
I gradually recovered after this surgery. There were more and more substantial moments of clarity. My right eye made me suffer a lot. One night (around March 20 or 21), I saw a lovely young woman, radiant and smiling, coming near my bed. I should say, a young girl. But I was twenty-three years old at that time, and she seemed older than I. She wore a white dress and carried something in an “apron” that was raised toward her waist. She came close to the right side of my bed and leaned toward me. She showed me two or three rose petals (from a rose that was very pale—almost white) that she took from her “apron” and then put them on my eye. She didn’t leave any trace of them, but from then on, I felt very blessed, and I’m no longer hurting at all.
She spoke to me in a gentle voice. (But it was a normal voice. It didn’t seem to me that she was whispering): “I am Thérèse of Lisieux. There. I must leave already. You know, I’m very much in demand right now. I have a lot to do.” That was, in essence, what she told me.
I felt quite peaceful after she left. She had come from the right side of my bed, and she left again, not by vanishing but by walking away calmly and confidently.
When the nurse came to clean my eye the next morning, I said to her: “I’m no longer hurting because—” without ending my sentence. A second time, I added: “Someone came to heal me last night.” She nodded her head. Maybe she thought I was hallucinating.
Since I was doing better, a nurse brought me a pile of letters that I had received. The first letter she opened was from my older sister Astrid. The first line of her letter said: “I prayed to St. Thérèse a lot.” I understood that if she had mentioned another saint, I’d have seen that saint. Since then, I’ve deeply believed in prayer . . .
Although I had received a religious education, I had moved away from God. It wasn’t aggressive or rebellious—far from that! But I was an advertising copywriter. I no longer had time to go to church. I had a lot of friends and was intoxicated by this exciting and alluring fake world of advertising!
I had several revelations after my accident. The first was the very real benefit of prayer. Another was that St. Thérèse truly is spending her Heaven doing good on earth, according to her own words. There was also the revelation that God doesn’t abandon His own. This accident came precisely at the right moment—when I was turning away from Him.
I’ve been very lucky since then.
Of course, I have continued to be handicapped. I have balance problems; without support, I can’t go down a stairway or even a sidewalk if it’s too high. But I’m an active mother. I was very happy to marry a former classmate, who teaches the classics. We are delighted to have two adorable daughters.
I got a bachelor’s degree in modern languages (1982) and a master’s degree (1983) with distinction at the Sorbonne.
I’m a diligent parishioner. I very happily attend Sunday Mass and devote a lot of time to prayer.
I thank the Lord and His faithful St. Thérèse for all this! I even go so far as to thank them for the very positive “shock” of my accident.
—Nadine C., Paris, May 17, 1994
Art for this post on a miracle of St. Therese: Cover image used with permission; Feature Image Picture Gravure de “Sainte Thérèse de l’Enfant Jésus, Histoire d’une âme écrite par elle-même, Lisieux, Office central de Lisieux (Calvados), & Bar-le-Duc, Imprimerie Saint-Paul, 1937, édition 1940.” (Engraving “St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Story of a Soul written by herself… Central Office of Lisieux (Calvados), & Bar-le-Duc, Imprimerie St. Paul, 1937, edition 1940.”), 1940, PD-US copyright expired, Wikimedia Commons.