St. Theresa and The Frozen Peonies

Michelle Stenson

Posted on January 10 2019

St. Theresa and The Frozen Peonies

In the first wedding season of Chartreuse, I didn't have a cooler and I was still really uncomfortable about living without one. I had one particular wedding at the very beginning of peony season and I needed 90 stems, that's right NINETY STEMS, they most likely cost $3.95 to $4.95 per stem, it was a huge financial commitment and I needed every single stem. Based on my supplier having to deliver to me on a Wednesday, it was important to keep these babies fresh for 4 days. I ripped apart the fridge in my apartment to make room for the peonies, who needs food right? Now because they were harvested and then placed into dry storage (which involves placing them horizontally in a commercial cooler until needed, once placed in water they would reanimate in a way) I was able to further keep them like this in my fridge, they were wrapped in paper, my supplier told me to layer the bunches with damp newspaper in between each bunch. I did this and adjusted the temperature slightly cooler. Things were going well, my anxiety surrounding this situation was high but manageable. 

Thursday night I went to my fridge to get my peonies out and there, in between my layers was a terrifying fine blanket of ice. Where would I get 90 peonies on a Friday, during the peony wedding season? Oh the terror, the anxiety, the fear, I took them all out and brought them into my shop, stripped the packaging and excess foliage and processed them into warm water. Some of the blooms were actually slightly frozen, of course the only thing to do at this point was to call my mom right? Not a florist but, a banker, that was irrelevant, you know... because its your mom, she knows how to fix the things, anything.  Well, she didn't know what to do but as always, she relied on her faith, she has her line up of Saints to help her, St. Anthony for finding lost things, St. Frances if you need to help an animal and even a parking angel to help you get a good parking spot. I am not overly religious but, if something can help you why not give that a chance.

Through conversation and google we found that there is a patron Saint of Florists, St. Theresa of Lisieux  The Little Flower of Jesus. We both prayed our best prayers to her in hopes that she would save my frozen peonies. It worked, not a single one was ruined. I worked away at the wedding, many different items were ordered, bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres, centerpieces and arrangements, these included some tall vases with baby's breath. I filled the vases and placed them on the floor in the sunshine coming in the front door of the shop to open fully to look their very best. The light on the flowers was so so pretty, I took a photo and posted it. Looking at this photo it was very apparent that I had some holy visitation and so I was convinced right then and there that Saint Theresa would always be there for me. Can you see her in this photo?

I now have several of her little prayer cards in the shop, I keep one in the cooler to ward off freezing and I have several others for when I have multiple weddings, each bridal bouquet spends the night before the wedding with St.Theresa. For luck and a beautiful day.


St. Therese, Flower of fervor and love, please intercede for us.
Fill our hearts with your pure love of God.
As we approach and celebrate your feast day,
make us more aware of the goodness of
God and how well He tends His garden.
Instill in us your little way of doing
ordinary things with extra-ordinary love.

Give us the heart of a child who wonders
at life and embraces everything with loving enthusiasm.
Teach us your delight in God's ways
so that divine charity may blossom in our hearts.
Little Flower of Jesus, bring our petitions
to wish our Brides a wonderful wedding day and new life in her marriage
before God, our Father.

With your confidence, we come before Jesus
as God's children,
because you are our heavenly friend.
As we celebrate the Feast Day of your
homecoming in heaven,continue to
shower roses and grace upon us.





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