The National Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, Michigan was founded in 1925 by Father Charles Coughlin just prior to the canonization of St. Thèrése of Liseux who was known as the “Little Flower”. Today it remains a vibrant and flourishing parish with over 4,300 registered families. It was designated a National Shrine by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1998.
Inside the church the altar is in the center of the room while the congregation surrounds it from every angle. It is symbolic of our need to keep Christ as the center of our lives. The altar, itself, is made of Carrera marble that comes from Mt. Cavella in Italy. The front of the altar is adorned with 2 peacocks drinking from a fountain-a symbol of everlasting life. The opposite side of the altar has the wounded and victorious lambs symbolizing the Risen Christ.
Over the altar hangs the Baldacchino, a canopy of fabric carried in church processions or placed over an altar, throne or dias. It is made of oak and is covered with inlaid gold leaf. It has 4 figures on each corner that represents the 4 gospel writers (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) in the form of man, lion, calf and eagle. It also has roses carved in the wood as a tribute to St. Thèrése of Liseux the patron saint of the National Shrine of the Little Flower.
Fr. Patrick Gonyeau was the celebrant at the mass we attended. In his homily, he spoke of “God’s radical love” in which we are called to love and give unconditionally and without question. He talked of God’s plea to turn the other cheek when slapped and to offer your clothes when you are asked for your tunic as example of God’s radical love.
During our visit we stood in awe of the history and beauty of The Little Flower. We enjoyed exploring every crevice and corner of the church, both inside and outside. We were impressed with all it had to offer and the faithful people who have keep the National Shrine of the Little Flower a rich and glorious place to worship and praise God in all we do.
UP NEXT: St. Joseph-South Lyon
|Tower at National Shrine of the Little Flower|
|Close up of Crucifixion at Little Flower|
|The Baldacchino over the Altar|
|Altar at the Little Flower|
|St. Jude Statute at Little Flower|
|Tribute to St. Joseph|
|St. Sebastian Statute at Little Flower|
|St. Therese of Liseux|
|One of the original doors of the church|