St. Therese of Lisieux is patroness of the missions because of her stated desire "to preach the Gospel on all five continents simultaneously and even to the most remote isles."
Now she's had the opportunity.
A NASA astronaut, Col. Ron Garan, took a relic of the saint aboard the space shuttle Discovery during its May 31 to June 14 voyage, accordinfg to the Order of Discalced Carmelites.
"We gave him a relic of St. Thérèse to take, so now she has traveled 5,735,643 miles around the earth for 14 days at 17,057 miles an hour! And while she did the sisters commended the world to her intercession," a statement from the religious order says.