Hi, I am Susan.
I was born on August 12, 1945 which was the day we first knew Japan would surrender and World War II would come to an end. The cease fire came a few days later and I would spend my life searching for a way to bring peace to the world.
As a child, my grandmother told me about Fatima and taught me to say the Rosary. (At Fatima, Portugal, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three children and told them to pray the Rosary for world peace and the conversion of Russia - that was in 1917.) As a result, I always wanted to go to Fatima but it would be the last place of pilgrimage I would travel to. There was a reason for this, but I wouldn't find out that reason until November 1989. While I was praying the Rosary in the Chapel of Apparitions, at Fatima, the Berlin Wall crumbled. I was, in fact, an instrument of peace. My life long dream had come to pass. The Soviet Union would collapse and we would be on the road to peace. A little girl's prayers were answered. Of course, it was just the beginning, but you have to start somewhere.
I am at peace in places like Fatima, Lourdes, La Salette, Akita, etc. I have come to realize that these places, which were places of apparitions, are so important to peace in the world. Having been in the travel industry for 20 years, I found it very easy to make the transition from travel agent to pilgrimage tour operator. Most of all, I believe my experience in Fatima was a direct result of Our Lord asking me to leave a hectic industry and join a beautiful ministry. I serve the Lord when I send people to His special places. Places where His mother has appeared, great Saints have lived, magnificent Cathedrals abound and people of many different religions live in harmony with one another.
The first few years were very difficult, I found myself questioning whether this was really what I was meant to do. It seemed I was putting my hand in my pocket more often than I should. I felt it was important that these pilgrimages continue. Finally, I needed to make a decision. Should I continue or should I get out before my money runs out? I decided to put it in God's hands. I made a Novena to St. Therese asking her to intercede on my behalf. A few days into the novena I received the ROSE that would be the answer to my prayers. Not only did I go on but I also named my company Little Flower after St. Therese. (When you make a novena to St. Therese, known as the Little Flower, if your prayers are answered, you will receive a rose.) Not only has my business grown, it has blossomed into one of the finest pilgrimage companies on the east coast. In September, 1997 I traveled with a group of over one hundred people to Lisieux (home of St. Therese) for the Centenary of her death. We all went to Lisieux to thank St. Therese for interceding on our behalf.
I am now compiling notes on other people's experiences with St. Therese. I'm asking people to send me their stories of how they made a novena to St. Therese and their prayers were answered. Some of these stories are breathtaking. I will call my book "The Flower That Touched My Heart."