The Red Rose of St. Therese

This rose bloomed in front of my mom's nursing home

The day after my mom went to the hospital (my first night in town) I was working with about 4 hours of sleep.  I was so tired.  I went to the courtyard at the hotel I was staying at and sat down to have a cigarette with my coffee.  I was beat tired and gave myself a pass to smoke (due to the circumstances – I thought my mom was going to die).  Anyway, there was a woman sitting in the courtyard.  She gave me a nice smile.  I smiled back and bummed a light from her.  We introduced ourselves and she told me a little about herself.  To make a long story short.  She was from Philadelphia.  Her name was Kathy.  It turns out we share the same birthday, March 28.  She said, “God does answer prayers because just today I was telling God, ‘Please let me meet someone like me I can talk to.'”  Another Aries. 

Kathy told me a story about praying to St. Therese for a baby, after years of struggling with infertility.  “I dropped the Saint and just called her Therese,” she said as she told her tale.  She said that St. Therese is known to answer prayers for miracles and when she answers your prayer she will show you a red rose.  Turns out, she prayed and prayed and then she saw a red rose coming up through the snow during a thick Philadelphia winter.  A couple months later she was pregnant with her son. She told me she would pray for my mom.  So many people prayed for my mom.  I prayed and was not specific; I just knew God would know what to do. My mother did not die the week I went out to say goodbye to her.   She did not die the night I came into town and at the hospital she kept saying, “There are some folks from Heaven here who want me to go with them.”  I said to her as she lay so frail in her hospital bed, coming in and out of hallucinations, “Tell them to take a number; I just got into town.”


My mother was in the hospital from Sunday to Wednesday (May 22 – 25) and was treated for a bad urinary tract infection and severe dehydration.  She went home from the hospital on Wednesday.  When I left her and had to say goodbye, I left her in the nursing home dining room, fully dressed, with her portable oxygen hung like a backpack to her wheelchair.  She was wearing her Betty Boop t-shirt,  talking with her table mate.  This woman kept trying to offer the sugar to us.  Her sixties wire winged glasses and her gummy smile will forever be in my memory.  The kindness and gentleness my mother spoke to her with will also be a sweet memory. 

I was not able to stay for lunch as I had to get to Denver to catch a plane. Before I went to visit her that day, I noticed a red rose in the nursing home garden out front.  I believe St. Therese made it bloom.  I believe prayer made it bloom.  I believe love made it bloom.  It could have been the Colorado sunshine, but I believe it was hope and miracle.  I do not expect a full recovery (as my mother is very ill and has two brain tumors), but I did get the chance to say goodbye to my
mom and spend time with her. 

Mom and me at nursing home

I met my new friend, Kathy, very serendipitously and very vulnerable.  Her path put her next to me that day.  I believe God puts people in your path to offer you love, hope, kindness, and guidence.  To tell me about St. Therese and the possibility of miracles.  She was visiting her son out in Colorado.  So, if you need a miracle pray to St. Therese.  Drop the saint, just like Kathy from Phily did, and call her Therese.  She will answer with a red rose.
Miracles are funny things — they take on their own form.  Their own path.
This is a slideshow of some of the photos on my mother’s shelf in her room at the nursing home.  Photos of my family and my mom’s family. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

22 thoughts on “The Red Rose of St. Therese

    • Thank you Georgia Girl! I appreciate the feedback. I am glad I could share this with you. It is a beautiful road this life we have and the beauty is often found in the depth of sadness.


    • @ Sweepy Jean – Thank you for your comment. I, too, am not religious (Recovering Catholic) and I also believe in prayer. It certainly has a power all its own.


  1. What a beautiful and inspiring story Meg. But what if those folks from heaven keep inviting your mom to go with them? Because when my cousin-in-law was in the hospital he began to see and hear from those who’d gone to heaven before him. And not only that, but he KNEW things, secrets that weren’t common knowledge about people. Now THAT was a miracle.

    But then again, your dear mom may live to be 100…you never know.

    And I believe with you: that red rose was a sign from God. So glad you got the chance to visit her again. Your presence gave her renewed hope I’m sure.
    Loved the slide show, and the red, red rose.


    • You have a gift of opening the hearts of others with your words and personality. I am blessed to have such a friend so near to me in NC and also in my heart.


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  10. hi – I too prayed to st therese for a child and though I saw the roses several times, I never got pregnant. I also prayed to have a happy married life – I got married a year ago – I saw the roses all the time but seem to be having problems in my marriage ( I hope it works as I do not want to break this marriage) ….. don’t want to sound like a wet blanket but in the case of my prayer for a child I asked to see white roses when I got up that morning and when to work I saw two ladies carrying a bouquet of white roses, then I prayed again said show me REALLY BIG WHITE ROSES – I went to the super marketand saw the most amazing REALLY BIG ROSES but still did not get pregnant, then I prayed if this is true let ME PHYSICALLY receive a white rose, then I received a white rose in the form of a card from my son – the picture was a white rose on a bible so I was pretty sure this was a sign but months have passed with every month negative for a pregnancy test. I am now 50 and feel I was carried away …. hope no one else gets let down so this post


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