Jeff & I met in Miami on their way to the Dominican Republic for a mission trip in 2011. I first learned about St. Therese while in the DR. Her picture was hanging in the dormitory of the mission site. St. Therese was a Carmelite nun in France who is remembered for her holy simplicity. She is known as the "the little flower" and is the patron saint of missionaries because of her commitment to praying for the conversion of souls from within her cloister.
In her journal St. Therese wrote, "I will spend my heaven doing good on earth. I will let fall a shower of roses." I heard about St. Therese answering prayers of vocation by sending roses to those who ask for her intercession. Two years later, I prayed a novena asking for the intercession of St. Therese to reveal to me if Jeff was my vocation by sending a single rose. I didn't receive a rose at the end of her novena and never told anyone that I had prayed the prayer.
A year later, while on mission in the Amazon of Brazil, my small group chose St. Therese as our patron. One evening after I closed the group in prayer, a Brazilian friend said, "While you were praying I closed my eyes and saw a flower growing up out of the ground and coming into full bloom, and by the end of this trip you will receive a single pink rose in full bloom from St. Therese of Lisieux."
On the twelve hour boat ride from the Amazon to the airport, Jeff asked me to give my testimony of faith after the celebration of Mass and Eucharistic Adoration. But instead of calling me up to give me testimony, he asked me to join him on mission for a lifetime through our vocation of marriage. Even though no one had seen any roses in the Amazon throughout the trip, the boat captain's wife excitedly ran up to me and handed me a single pink rose in full bloom. And it just so happens that the church we had talked about getting married in — and ended up getting married in — is the "The Little Flower of St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church" in Miami Florida.