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The Little Flower's Astronaut

06/24/2009 Comment

Col. Ronald Garan (wikipedia)

In attendance at Pope Benedict XVI’s weekly general audience today in St. Peter’s Square was Ronald Garan, the American astronaut who brought a relic of St. Thérèse of Lisieux into space aboard the space shuttle Discovery.

Garan had the idea to bring the relic into space through his spiritual bond with the Carmelites in New Caney, Texas. Garan also helped found the Manna Association that, with the help of NASA technology and U.N. funding, has developed a system to make available drinking water in the villages of Rwanda and install solar panels in schools and hospitals.

Also present today was Radhika Coomaraswamy, the U.N.’s special representative for children and armed conflict, who had come to thank the Church for its invaluable work in helping child victims of war. At the end of his audience, the Pope made a plea for the “release of all kidnapped persons in conflict zones and the end of abuses against children.” Coomaraswamy also had private talks with Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Holy See’s secretary for relations with states.

Filed under relics, ronald garan, st. therese of lisieux

About Edward Pentin

Edward Pentin
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Edward Pentin began reporting on the Pope and the Vatican with Vatican Radio before moving on to become the Rome correspondent for the National Catholic Register. He has also reported on the Holy See and the Catholic Church for a number of other publications including Newsweek, Newsmax, Zenit, The Catholic Herald, and The Holy Land Review, a Franciscan publication specializing in the Church and the Middle East. Edward is the author of "The Rigging of a Vatican Synod? An Investigation into Alleged Manipulation at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family", published by Ignatius Press. Follow him on Twitter @edwardpentin