A significant religious artifact has gone missing, causing concern across the local Richard, LA community and social media. The crucifix from the grave of Charlene Richard, often referred to as the "Little Cajun Saint," has vanished. The loss has prompted a serious call from the church's pastor, Rev. Korey R. LaVergne, for its immediate return and for the perpetrator to seek reconciliation with the Church.

The news of the missing crucifix was posted on the official St. Edward Catholic Church - Richard Facebook page, where Rev. Korey R. LaVergne issued a stern warning. He stated, "Taking something from Charlene's grave in this manner will not merit any special favor from our Lord, however, it will place a soul in grave danger."

Charlene Richard, who died tragically from leukemia at age 12 in 1959, is a revered figure in the Richard community, with her cause for sainthood advancing over the past several years. Her resting place is considered a holy site, visited by thousands annually, where special intentions are often left for prayers.

More than 60 years have passed since her death, but Charlene Richard’s legacy continues to inspire both old and new generations. Her story has been the subject of local newspaper articles, books, and an ongoing campaign for her canonization as a saint in the Catholic Church. Those who knew her and those who learned of her through generations continue to advocate for her cause for sainthood, drawing strength from her faith and courage.

In a 2022 story from The Advocate, Rev. Korey LaVergne spoke passionately about Charlene, stating that the local community is just waiting for the rest of the church "to catch up and acknowledge Charlene's saintliness."

Her extraordinary story began with her cheerful acceptance of her terminal illness, in line with the principles of Thérèse of Lisieux, a 19th-century French nun. In her final days, Charlene dedicated herself to prayers for the well-being and salvation of others. Her story, chronicled over the decades, has elevated her as an example of unwavering faith, even in the face of suffering and death.

The theft of the crucifix from her grave has not only shocked the community but has also been labeled as a "sin against Charlene, God, and His Church" by Rev. LaVergne. He further urged the person responsible to return the crucifix either to him personally or anonymously and to seek sacramental reconciliation. "Hoped for miracles cannot be brought about through the action of sin and theft is a mortal sin," warned Rev. LaVergne.

The Pastor’s plea echoed with the gravity of eternal implications, urging the thief to restore the crucifix for the "sake of your soul and eternal salvation."

Charlene Richard's grave, sitting by the graves of her family members, has always been a place of peace, contemplation, and prayer. The community is awaiting the return of the stolen crucifix to restore the sanctity of her resting place.

The authorities have been alerted about the theft, but the Church promises no further penalties against the person responsible if the crucifix is returned promptly.

The loss has saddened the Richard community, already deeply committed to advancing Charlene’s cause for sainthood. While the procedures are lengthy and rigorous, with the need to verify reported miracles among other criteria, there is a shared belief in the community that Charlene Richard is already a saint in the eyes of those who knew her and those who have been touched by her story.

The urgency to return the stolen crucifix reflects not just a violation of a grave but also an infringement upon a legacy of faith that has lasted over six decades. The hope now is for the sacred object to be returned, so that the community can continue to honor Charlene Richard's memory in the way she so deeply deserves.

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