Friday, June 15, 2007
Feastday of St. Germaine
Dear God, please don't let me be too hungry or too thirsty. Help me to please my mother. And help me to please you." - prayer of Saint Germaine
Prayer to Saint Germaine
O Saint Germaine, look down from Heaven and intercede for the many abused children in our world. Help them to sanctify these sufferings. Strengthen children who suffer the effects of living in broken families. Protect those children who have been abandoned by their parents and live in the streets. Beg God's mercy on the parents who abuse their children. Intercede for handicapped children and their parents.
Saint Germaine, you who suffered neglect and abuse so patiently, pray for us. Amen.
Born with scrofula, St. Germaine(1579-1601) was a sickly child and was mistreated by her stepmother while her father ignored her. She was forced to sleep in a stable or a cupboard under the stairs and ate leftover scraps from the table. She was often beaten or scalded with hot water for misdeeds, real or imagined.
As a shepherdess, she spent much of her time praying, making rosaries out of a knotted string, teaching catechism to other children, and sharing the little food to them that she had. She never missed Mass. When she heard the bell, Germaine would stick her staff in the ground and the sheep would gather around the staff, and she would be able to attend Mass.
Once in the wintertime, Germaine was seen by her stepmother carrying something in her apron. Thinking she was stealing some bread, her stepmother ran after her preparing to beat her with a stick if needed. When she reached Germaine and demanded that she would reveal what she was carrying, instead of seeing stolen bread in her apron, her stepmother found summer flowers. Neighbors, witnesses, and even her family were awed at this and began to treat her as a holy person. When her mother invited her to rejoin the household, Germaine refused and said she wanted to live the life she had already.
It is once said that one time there was a flood blocking the way to the church. Some people advised Germaine not to go to Mass because of the flood. Then Germaine prayed to God. Soon, a passage formed through the flood making a way for Germaine to reach Mass.
According to documents, more than 400 miracles or extraordinary graces occurred through the intervention of St. Germaine. Cures of blindness, both congenital and resulting from disease, and the multiplication of food for the distressed community of the Good Shepherd at Bourges in 1845 were included.
St. Germaine is the patroness of abandoned people, abuse victims, against poverty, bodily ills, child abuse victims, disabled people, girls from rural areas, handicapped people, illness, impoverishment, loss of parents, peasant girls, physically challenged people, poverty, shepherdesses, sick people, sickness, unattractive people, and young country girls.