Queen and Patroness of Alaska

September 14, 2017

Bishop Joseph Raphael Crimont, S.J.

Bishop Joseph Raphael Crimont, S.J. (1858-1945), Bishop of Alaska, was from France and he knew members of St. Therese of the Child Jesus’ family. He said Mass in the Infirmary where St. Therese had died twenty-eight years before. At the Mass the Little Flower’s three sisters received Communion from the Bishop. Earlier in the summer the Bishop first met Mother Agnes (Martin) when they began a lasting friendship. Bishop Crimont knew of St. Therese’s devotion to the missions while she was living and he placed the entire Alaskan mission under her protection five years prior to her canonization.

While Bishop Crimont was in Rome for St. Therese’s canonization on May 17, 1925, the Sacred Congregation decreed St. Therese the Queen and Patroness of Alaska, a title the Bishop had offered her five years earlier. From this time on his devotion to the Little Flower became one of the great influences of his life. Beginning with the reading of “Histoire d’un Ame,” many things contributed to feed the devotion: blessings obtained by himself, miracles told by others, important favors received by Father Ruppert.

Situated on 46 acres, the Shrine of St. Therese of Lisieux overlooks the Lynn Canal in Juneau, Alaska. The first mass was held in 1941. Photo by gillfoto.

After the visit to Lisieux, the Bishop distributed many relics of the Little Flower and did much to spread devotion to her. Application of a relic to a Sister Superior of Douglas brought immediate cure of a serious illness. An insane woman in Juneau when shown a picture of the Little Flower fell asleep the first time in over a week. Her cure was also immediate and permanent.

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