The Southern Louisiana Saint
A story of Charlene Richard
“O.K., Father who am I to suffer for today?” were the words of Charlene Richard, a 12-year old girl from Church Point, Louisiana. A seemingly normal young lady who would find herself stricken with acute lymphatic leukemia. For most, the painful diagnosis would be a time of fear and unease, however, for Charlene, acceptance was easy.
As a child of God, Charlene did what all normal children did in the year of 1959: she went to school and church and spent time with friends. Yet, she wanted more out of her religious life. She would ask her grandmother to teach her how to pray and she was always more active within the church. Following her diagnosis, Charlene tapped into her deep religious connections and she found salvation. During her stay at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Lafayette, Charlene offered up her suffering for others and she prayed for the sick to be healed or the lost to be found by God.
On the 11th of August, Charlene passed away, yet her memory and her intercession live on. Many people who knew Charlene in the last two weeks of her life, claim that she was truly a saint. The “little Cajun saint.” It is reported that all the people Charlene actively prayed for during her time of illness, were healed of their illness or converted to Catholicism. Today, many people still pray for Charlene’s intercession and for those who believe in the power of prayer, often they will find those prayers are answered.