From her birth in 1579 until her death in 1601, the short life of this remarkable servant of God was filled with sickness and suffering. Her tight hand was withered and paralyzed at birth, and she later suffered from scrofula. She never knew affection from her father, was subjected to constant mistreatment by her stepmother, and was denied a real place of her own in the family home. She was relegated to tending sheep around the surrounding area of Toulouse, France, and practically forbidden to come into contact with her stepbrothers and stepsisters.
However, St. Germaine’s inner life was the exact opposite. Her pure soul was in constant touch with her Maker, Who had led her to the Rosary, which she rejoiced in reciting every day. Nor could anything deter her from taking part at daily Mass; it was even reported that she once had walked over flood waters to reach the church in time.
St. Germaine’s burning love for God spilled over into love for her neighbors. She often gathered the local children about her and taught them the rudiments of the faith, and she fed the poor with crusts of dry bread that were doled out to her. Once her stepmother angrily accused the Saint of stealing bread and hiding it in her apron; but when the apron was opened it exposed a bunch of beautiful summer flowers.
About half a century after her death (at the age of twenty-two), her body was found to be incorrupt, and when exposed for a year it became the object of veneration and the source of miracles. She was canonized in 1867 by Pope Pius IX.
PRAYER: Lord God, You showered heavenly gifts on St. Germaine the Virgin. Help us to imitate her virtues during our earthly life and enjoy eternal happiness with her in heaven. Amen.