The Shrine Of The Little Flower
(This description is taken directly from "A Story of the
published in 1957, to celebrate Shrine of the Little Flower’s 25th anniversary.)
After describing the altar as the focal point of the plan for the interior of the church, the St. Therese mural is described as follows.
The secondary focus of attention is given to a mural painting of heroic size rising from the main altar to the ceiling. It measures twenty-seven feet in height and fourteen in width and is executed all on a single piece of Belgian canvas. In its exquisite line and color is depicted the "glory" of the little flower. The Artist, Professor Gonippo Raggi, drawing from the details of the death of St. Therese, has shown at the base of the painting the Carmel at Lisieux, with the sun setting over the convent chapel, thus fixing the time at day’s end when the little Saint went to God.
Directly above, cherubs carry a scroll on which are the last words of the Saint: "My God, I Love You." Great angels float about, none having taken the cross from Therese, to indicate the end of her sorrows. Other cherubs hold objects representing various phases of her life’s work. One holds the Veil of Veronica, commemorating the full name of Therese in religion. Another holds a book and quill, which stands for her autobiography.
Centrally in the painting is St. Therese herself, her face calm and serenely joyful as she comes into the presence of the Beatific Vision. Her head is crowned with a great halo of cherubs who carry roses and permit them to drop earthward, suggesting the fulfillment of the prophecy the Little Flower made: "After my death I shall let fall from heaven a shower of roses."
The Blessed Trinity dominates the full upper portion of the painting, each of the three Persons depicted in traditional manner.
The masterful blend of colors in the "Little Flower in Glory" is the key to all other use in color in the church. Every tone and shade that has been employed by the interior painters has direct relation to the central artwork.
Our Patron St. Therese of Lisieux