Aug 7, 2013 8:20 PM by Alex Labat
People in Acadiana are proud to call themselves "Saints Fans", but one group in Richard is hoping their "Little Cajun Saint" will one day be ranked among other saints in the Catholic faith.
Charlene Richard was only 12-years-old when she died, but 54 years later followers say she's been answering prayers ever since.
At St. Edwards Catholic Church in Richard, the faithful have come to offer their prayers to the "Little Cajun Saint".
"We come here every two weeks to see Charlene, to say our prayer with Charlene, we go to her grotto to say some more prayers, and then we go in the church. Charlene is with us", says parishioner James Peltier.
The church and the faithful are preparing to remember her passing in 1959 from Acute Lymphatic Leukemia.
Followers have been offering their prayers to Richard, as she had once done in the hospital.
To date, the church has produced an estimated 100,000 prayer clothes bearing the young girl's image.
"It has been the most gratifying thing that I have ever done in my life. Is to be involved with this prayer cloth ministry", says Louise Giroir.
Richard's canonization is now in the hands of Bishop Michael Jarrell.
Those who've been healed by Richard hope she becomes a true saint.
"Praying to Charlene, I went to a doctor, he reran all the tests and told me there was nothing wrong with my heart. That I had a perfect heart and I didn't need any more medication", says Carolyn Keith.
John Richard, Charlene's older brother, says no matter what happens in the future, he thinks of Charlene now as he did when she was living, as a saint.
"It would be a great, great honor that she would be canonized by the church. But in my heart and in my soul, I know that Charlene is with God. I know she is in Heaven. She has been canonized in our hearts", says Richard.
The memorial mass for Charlene Richard will be held this Friday in Richard.
The rosary will be at 5:30pm at Saint Edward's Catholic Church, with the mass set to begin at 6:00pm.
The church is also looking for individuals who may have had their prayers answered by the "Little Cajun Saint."
You're asked to contact Carolyn Keith at 337-305-0576.