St Therese’s Astronaut Visits Vatican

19 07 2009

Colonel Ronald Garan

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 24, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The U.S. astronaut who carried relics of St. Thérèse of Lisieux into space and put them in orbit around the earth attended Benedict XVI’s general audience today.

On a Discovery shuttle mission one year ago, Colonel Ronald Garan brought the relics given to him by a Carmelite community in New Caney, Texas.

The astronaut had called the women religious before his space flight to ask for prayers, and at that time he told them he could take some small item into space on behalf of the community.

St Therese of Lisieux
The sisters reported that the words of St. Thérèse came to mind: “I have the vocation of an apostle. I would like to travel over the whole earth to preach your name and to plant your glorious cross on infidel soil. But oh, my beloved, one mission would not be enough for me, I would want to preach the Gospel on all five continents simultaneously and even to the most remote isles. I would be a missionary, not for a few years but from the beginning of creation until the consummation of the ages.”

Garan stated that he will be bringing a second relic of the saint to space on his next mission, which is scheduled for March 2011.

The colonel is also the founder of the Manna Energy Foundation that, by using NASA technology and U.N. funding, is implementing a unique system to make potable water in the villages of Rwanda.


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