by Gina C. Simon
In a rural town in ’47,
A special gift was sent from Heaven.
To a loving, Catholic family
An infant named Charlene Marie.
Her family helped her learn God’s way,
And many prayers that she could pray.
The one she loved above any other,
Was the Rosary to the Blessed Mother.
One day Charlene got very sick.
No medicine would do the trick.
With Reverend Brennan at her side,
She prayed each day until she died.
Yet her special story does not end sad.
She touched many with the faith she had.
People come to Charlene’s grave to pray,
From near and far almost every day.
Through her intercession it is believed,
That favors are granted, miracles received.
Now the Cajuns proclaim her to be,
Their adopted Saint, Charlene Marie.
Gina C. Simon is a writer/songwriter who grew up in the Acadiana region of Louisiana and recently relocated to Mississippi. This poem is an excerpt from an unpublished children’s version of the true story of Charlene Marie Richard, who died at age 12 of leukemia in South Louisiana and is believed to be a saint. Her tomb, located in St. Edward Church Cemetery, has become a shrine that thousands of people visit to seek her help.