Prayer for the Intercession of St. Germaine

March 1, 1992
Brother John Raymond

	St. Germaine was born about the year 1579 at Pibrac, a village
 near Toulouse, France. She suffered from tuberculosis and a deformed
 right hand. Her mother died when she was still very young. Her
 father remarried.
	The stepmother was very cruel toward her. She gave her a few
 crusts of moldy black bread daily for food. She often beat her. She
 even made Germaine tend their flock of sheep near woods which were
 notorious for ravenous wolves. 
	St. Germaine coughed all winter, had a lot of pain in her back
 and was stooped over like an old woman. She was not considered good
 enough to stay in the house with the family. They exiled her to a
 bed of leaves and twigs under the stairway of the barn, among the
 animals. Abandoned and forgotten, she spent her nights cold, hungry,
 and sick. Yet, inspite of these many hardships, she never lost her
 pleasant disposition. How did this poor girl survive?
	St. Germaine's secret was her great love for Jesus in the Blessed
 Sacrament and for His Mother Mary. She assisted daily at Holy Mass.
 When the church bell rang for Mass, she fixed her crook in the
 ground and entrusted the sheep to the One True Shepherd. Her trust
 was well-founded. Never did a wolf from the forest disturb her
 flock. St. Germain prayed the Rosary often. When she could, she
 gathered village children to tell them about the love that Jesus and
 Mary had for them. Her love for Jesus and Mary grew so much that in
 addition to all her sufferings she added voluntary penances! She
 would even share her meager meals with the poor.
	The holy life of Germaine did not go unnoticed. God showed His
 love for this poor abandoned child. Villagers saw the waters of a
 raging stream separate to form a dry path for her to reach the
 church on the other side! Another time villagers were walking by the
 stable where she slept when they heard a heavenly melody. Curiously
 they peered in to find her wrapped in ecstatic prayer with a halo
 about her head. One winter day her stepmother accused her of
 stealing bread and hiding it in her apron. In fact, she had only
 taken the crumbs left on the table after the family had eaten to
 feed a poor beggar. When she obediently opened her apron, much to
 the surprise of everyone, fragrant flowers, not grown in that
 region, fell to the ground. This last miracle convinced her father
 that there was something special about her. He forbade the
 stepmother to abuse her anymore. He even went so far as to invite
 her back into the house, but she preferred to stay in the stable.
	Just as everyone was becoming aware of her sanctity, she was found dead on her humble pallet at the age of twenty-two. Forty-three
 years later, when burying a relative next to her, a grave-digger
 found her body perfectly preserved. Amazingly, when his pick struck
 the girl's nose it began to bleed! Four-hundred miracles and
 extraordinary graces later, she was beatified. Certainly this little
 French saint can help us during our present age of prolific child


	O St. 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.
	St. Germaine, you who suffered neglect and abuse so patiently,
 pray for us. Amen.