Article by Marc Aupiais
Zenit News Service, among other services: has an interesting story about: Colonel Ronald Garan, who carried an article ("relic") associated with Saint Thérèse Martin of Lisieux, the stubborn Carmelite sister, often named the little flower: about Six million miles (6 000 000) into space (Discovery flight: 31st (05th month) May to 14th (06th month) June 2008), for a New Caney, Texas Carmelite community.
Apparently, the astronaut was privileged enough, to have: Yesterday: attended a "general audience" of the Roman Catholic Pontiff, who is currently Pope Benedict XVI.
The colonel became known, when he had asked Carmelites for prayers, and in exchange: offered to bring a small item into space for them. He is expected to repeat the experience, in 2011, when he returns to orbit. He has also founded an aid organization to help with water in Rwanda, in northern Africa. His aid agency gets funding from NASA (America's: National Aronaughtical and Space Agency), and the United Nations (UN).
More information on Saint Therese: from the Vatican, speaking of the life of the Saint, whose "relic", we know: had in 2008: entered space (text between  added by us):
"THÉRÈSE MARTIN was born at Alençon, France on 2 January 1873. Two days later, she was baptized Marie Frances Thérèse at Notre Dame [French for: Our Lady] Church. Her parents were Louis Martin and Zélie Guérin. After the death of her mother on 28 August 1877, Thérèse and her family moved to Lisieux.
Towards the end of 1879, she went to confession for the first time. On the Feast of Pentecost [celebrating that the Holy Spirit came down on the apostles, allegedly 50 days after the events of the crucifixion] 1883, she received the singular grace of being healed from a serious illness through the intercession of Our Lady of Victories [Mary]. Taught by the Benedictine Nuns of Lisieux and after an intense immediate preparation culminating in a vivid experience of intimate union with Christ, she received First Holy Communion [Ceremony where one is first allowed to take the Blessed Host | Communion] on 8 May 1884. Some weeks later, on 14 June of the same year, she received the Sacrament of Confirmation [Final sacrament of Christian Initiation, by which more spiritual strength is given], fully aware of accepting the gift of the Holy Spirit as a personal participation in the grace of Pentecost.
She wished to embrace the contemplative life, as her sisters Pauline and Marie had done in the Carmel of Lisieux, but was prevented from doing so by her young age [hence her patronage: the Stubborn Saint]. On a visit to Italy, after having visited the House of Loreto and the holy places of the Eternal City, during an audience granted by Pope Leo XIII to the pilgrims from Lisieux on 20 November 1887, she asked the Holy Father with childlike audacity to be able to enter the Carmel at the age of fifteen.
On 9 April 1888 she entered the Carmel of Lisieux. She received the habit on 10 January of the following year, and made her religious profession on 8 September 1890 on the Feast of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
In Carmel she embraced the way of perfection outlined by the Foundress, Saint Teresa of Jesus, fulfilling with genuine fervour and fidelity the various community responsibilities entrusted to her. Her faith was tested by the sickness of her beloved father, Louis Martin, who died on 29 July 1894. Thérèse nevertheless grew in sanctity, enlightened by the Word of God and inspired by the Gospel to place love at the centre of everything. In her autobiographical manuscripts she left us not only her recollections of childhood and adolescence but also a portrait of her soul, the description of her most intimate experiences. She discovered the little way of spiritual childhood and taught it to the novices entrusted to her care. She considered it a special gift to receive the charge of accompanying two "missionary brothers" with prayer and sacrifice. Seized by the love of Christ, her only Spouse, she penetrated ever more deeply into the mystery of the Church and became increasingly aware of her apostolic and missionary vocation to draw everyone in her path." [Read on]
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