St. Therese of Lisieux Shrine (1925)
Merton Tour Stop #7
The Shrine of St. Therese of Lisieux is known as the shrine of the “Little Flower.” It was at this shrine that Thomas Merton prayed for guidance one evening. “You show me what to do. If I get into the monastery, I will be your monk. Now show me what to do.” It was then he imagined he heard the Trappist bells of Gethsemani monastery which he had visited the previous Easter. Soon afterward he left St. Bonaventure and joined the Trappists in Louisville, Kentucky.
The St. Therese Shrine is located in a wooded area to the south of Plassman Hall. It was constructed in 1925 to honor the "Little Flower" after an all-night vigil seeking her intercession in the life-threatening illness of a seminarian. The student was critically ill, and doctors could find no answer to his sickness. After the vigil he regained his health and the shrine was built as a tribute of thanksgiving.
It was at this Shrine that Thomas Merton sought guidance in his spiritual journey. A young English professor at the college, he went to the shrine on a rainy night in November of 1941. "For Heaven's sake, help me! If I get into the monastery, I will be your monk..." He believed he heard the trappist bell of Gethsemani ringing in the night, and found the answer he'd been looking for.
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For more information about this shrine, visit the
St. Bonaventure University Archives in Friedsam Library.
Last updated: 11/03/06