Padre Pio and the Little Flower: "She is a Saint, a very great Saint!"
Those who knew Padre Pio confirm that he nursed a tender love of St Thérèse and that she was among a handful of Pio's favorite saints.
Once, when the stigmatized friar had not been a priest for very long, when he was a very young priest, he was approached by a young, unmarried Frenchwoman who asked Pio to bless a picture of the Little Flower. Pio beheld the picture of St Thérèse in her brown Carmelite robes and he exclaimed with great joy and zeal, "She is a Saint a very Great Saint!"
Even at so young an age, Pio had the gift of being able to see the souls in Heaven and could see the Little Flower's high place as a Saint of immense greatness.
But Pio declined to bless the picture. He explained to the mademoiselle who had journeyed to Italy to see him and have his blessing on her image of St Thérèse,
"I cannot bless the image of this nun, for she has not yet been beatified, but one day she will ascend all the altars because she is Saint, a very great Saint!"
As a faithful son of the Church, Pio could not bless a picture of the petite nun who was among the greatest Saints until the Pope declared her blessed. Some years passed after Pio extolled the Little Flower's sanctity, and she was beatified in 1923. Merely two years later she was canonized in 1925. Pio's prophecy that she would ascend all altars came true to the letter.
I wish you a very happy feast day of St Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. You may like to offer the litany to the Little Flower.