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Woman with cancer reveals her ‘very special’ encounter with the relics of St Therese

Despite undergoing radiotherapy five days a week, Jane joined her sisters on a visit to the relics at night, when the church was less busy. By Colette Cooper

A parishioner of St Teresa’s Church in Newarthill has said a visit to the relics of the Little Flower has helped her cope with her cancer.

Jane Burns venerated the relics of St Thérèse at Carfin Grotto with her sisters last week.

Jane is currently being treated for womb cancer, but is coming to the end of her treatment. She said the visit to the relics was ‘very special’ for her.

“I have a devotion to St Thérèse—I went on pilgrimage years ago and prayed a lot to her,” Jane said. “Since I got the cancer diagnosis, I’ve been praying to her.”

Wonderful experience

Despite undergoing radiotherapy five days a week, Jane joined her sisters on a visit to the relics at night, when the church was less busy.

“It was the most wonderful experience,” she said

“It was a peaceful atmosphere. It’s hard to explain the uplifting feeling. Having a devotion to [St Thérèse] for a while, I had to be there—it’s something I’ll never forget. Because it was later on the evening, I had plenty of time to rest. It was quiet; I got to just sit with the relics.”

Jane said she asked St Thérèse for help to ‘get through’ her cancer treatment.


“I was diagnosed in February. It was a shock. I was devastated and very angry, but I was never angry at God,” she said.

“It’s the power of prayer that got me through. The number of people that I don’t know who are praying for me—total strangers praying for me all over the world, there are churches lighting candles, it uplifted me.

“I have to have a positive attitude. To have the relics come at the end of treatment gives me an extra boost.”

After retiring as an English teacher 10 years ago, Jane wrote a children’s book and is in the middle of promoting it.


She added: “One of the hardest things for me was that I used to go to Mass every day, then with my diagnosis, I wasn’t getting to Mass. It was very difficult.”

Jane added that, had she been able, she ‘would have been one of the people sitting over night with the relics,’ but that she ‘has to adjust to circumstances.’

She added that the relics have brought people ‘back to the Church’ and ‘back to Faith.’

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