Skip to comments.Blessed Anna Schaffer: A life of pain and suffering (now Saint) [Catholic Caucus]
Posted on 10/21/2012 2:02:17 PM PDT by Salvation
|Blessed Anna Schaffer|
MOST people often perceive suffering and illness as a curse or a punishment from God. However, to some faithful, pain and suffering means an opportunity to offer ones self to God, to submit to His will and identify with the sufferings of Jesus Christ for the sake of redeeming mankind..
Such was the case of Blessed Anna Schaffer, a German laywoman, who along with Filipino Pedro Calungsod, is expected to be canonized this yeardeclared a saint to be emulated by the universal Church.
As a Blessed she is ALREADY a saint but not entered in the roster of canonized saints.
Anna was born on February 18, 1882, in staunchly Roman Catholic Bavaria, Germany, to a mother who raised her to be a good Christian. Her family was not rich but it was a Christian family. She was a strong and healthy girl and she was among the best in school. She was modest and devout.
After her First Communion, the young Anna vowed to spend her life serving God. And on finishing basic schooling, she wished to enter an order of missionary sisters but to be able to so, it was necessary for her to earn the necessary dowry. Her family was unable to raise the amount, so she tried to earn the money working as a servant. But God had other plans.
In June 1898, when she was 16, Anna heard Jesus voice telling her things that alarmed her. She would endure long and painful suffering. But she told Jesus she would willingly accept whatever He, God the Son, wanted of her.
Then on February 4, 1901, at the foresters lodge in Stammham, where she worked, the stovepipe over the laundry boiler got detached from the wall. She tried to fix it, but she slipped into a vat of boiling lye, which scalded both her legs to above the knees.
The doctors tried their best but were unable to heal her injuries and as years went by, her condition continued to worsen. She was bed-ridden and stricken by extreme poverty. Anna recognized that her suffering was permitted by God and accepted it with greater joy. Despite her condition, she received Holy Communion every day, thanks to the ministration of the local parish church and her relatives. She had a wise and good spiritual director, the parish priest, Fr Karl Rieger.
Later, Anna started to see visions.
She saw Saint Francis, who was ready to accept her sacrifice of reparation. From that time, she bore the wounds of Christ. Her stigmata was, however, unknown to many people as she preferred to conceal it to avoid any sensationalism. In order to suffer in secret, she even prayed for the stigmata to become invisible but for the wounds to still remain and give her suffering.
Her fame as a holy person grew in her community. Many Catholics went to her to ask for her prayers.
Growing weaker as her legs became completely paralyzed, she continued to serve God by offering consolation in word or letter to all who turned to her. Later on, she also suffered from painful cramps due to a stiffening of the spinal cord and, finally, she had cancer of the rectum.
Yet, she was still able to do a lot of things like writing countless letters to those who sought her advice and embroidery for churches and chapels.
She had more accidents. She suffered a brain injury after falling from her bed. She lost her voice.
On October 5, 1925, she received her last Communion and as she approached death, she made her final Sign of the Cross.
In a letter eight months before her death, she had written: The most important thing for me is to pray and suffer for the holy Church and her Pastors. Whenever I receive Holy Communion, I fervently pray to our beloved Redeemer to continue protecting his holy Church and her Pastors, to grant me the most agonizing martyrdom and to accept me as a little victim of reparation.
Canonized today Ping!
Thanks for the post!