Skip to comments.Saint Germaine Cousin [Catholic Caucus]
Posted on 06/15/2014 3:11:19 PM PDT by Salvation
Also known as
Daughter of Laurent Cousin, a farm worker, and Marie Laroche. Her mother died while Germaine was an infant. A sickly child, Germaine suffered from scrofula, and her right hand was deformed. Ignored by her father and abused by her step-family, she was often forced to sleep in the stable or in a cupboard under the stairs, was fed on scraps, beaten or scalded with hot water for misdeeds, real or imagined.
At age nine Germaine was put to work as a shepherdess, where she spent much time praying, sometimes using a rosary she made from a knotted string. She refused to miss Mass, and if she heard the bell announcing services, she set her crook and her distaff in the ground, declared her flock to be under the care of her guardian angel, and went to church; her sheep were unharmed during her absences. It is reported that once she crossed the raging Courbet River by walking over the waters so she could get to church.
Germaine was so poor it is hard to imagine she would be able to help others, but she was always ready to try, especially children whom she gathered in the fields to teach a simple catechism and share the little food she had. The locals laughed at her religious devotion, and called her ‘the little bigot’.
Once in winter, her stepmother, Hortense, accused her of stealing bread by hiding it in her apron, and threatened to beat her with a stick. Germaine opened her apron, and summer flowers tumbled out. Her parents and neighbors were awed by the obvious miracle, and began to treat her as a holy person. Her parents invited her to rejoin the household, but Germaine chose to live as she had.
In 1601 she was found dead on her straw pallet under the stairs, and she was buried in the Church of Pibrac opposite the pulpit. When accidentally exhumed in 1644 during a renovation, her body was found incorrupt. In 1793 the casket was desecrated by an anti-Catholic tinsmith named Toulza, who with three accomplices took out the remains and buried them in the sacristy, throwing quick-lime and water on them. After the French Revolution, her body was found to be still intact save where the quick-lime had done its work.
Documents attest to more than 400 miracles or extraordinary graces received through the intervention of Saint Germain. They include cures of every kind (of blindness, both congenital and resulting from disease, of hip and of spinal disease), and the multiplication of food for the distressed community of the Good Shepherd at Bourges, France in 1845.
ST. GERMAINE COUSIN
SUNDAY, JUNE 15, 2014
June 15 is the feast day of St. Germaine Cousin, a simple and pious young girl who lived in Pibrac, France in the late 1500s. Germaine was born in 1579 to poor parents. Her father was a farmer, and her mother died when she was still an infant. She was born with a deformed right arm and hand, as well as the disease of scrofula, a tubercular condition.
Her father remarried soon after the death of her mother, but his new wife was filled with disgust by Germaine's condition. She tormented and neglected Germaine, and taught her siblings to do so as well.
Starving and sick, Germaine was eventually kicked out of the house and forced to sleep under the stairway in the barn, on a pile of leaves and twigs, because of her stepmother’s dislike of her and disgust of her condition. She tended to the family's flock of sheep everyday.
Despite her hardships, she lived each day full of thanksgiving and joy, and spent much of her time praying the Rosary and teaching the village children about the love of God. She was barely fed and had an emaciated figure, yet despite this she shared the little bread that she had with the poor of the village.
From her simple faith grew a deep holiness and profound trust in God. She went to Mass everyday, leaving her sheep in the care of her guardian angel, who never failed her. Germaine’s deep piety was looked upon with ridicule by the villagers, but not by the children, who were drawn to her holiness.
God protected Germaine and showered his favor upon her. It was reported that on days when the river was high, the waters would part so that she could pass through them on her way to Mass. One day in winter, when she was being chased by her stepmother who accused her of stealing bread, she opened her apron and fresh summer flowers fell out. She offered the flowers to her stepmother as a sign of forgiveness.
Eventually, the adults of the village began to realize the special holiness of this poor, crippled shepherdess. Germaine's parents eventually offered her a place back in their house, but she chose to remain in her humble place outside.
Just as the villagers were realizing the beauty of her life, God called her to Himself. Her father found her body on her bed of leaves one morning in her 22nd year of life.
Forty-three years later, when a relative of hers was being buried, Germaine’s casket was opened and her body was found incorrupt. People in the surrounding area began praying for her intercession and obtaining miraculous cures for illnesses.
St. Germaine was canonized by Pope Pius IX in 1867 and inscribed into the canon of virgins.
Saint of the Day Ping!
This reminds me of one of my Mexican friends, whose mother died when she was young and had a stepmother who did not care for the children.
A heart rending story indeed.
But what I liked, was that despite her deformities, the children sought her out.
It seems like a situation where everyone was hungry. Children are often neglected in conditions of extreme poverty. St. Germaine shared her food with the children and also taught them about God, gave them positive attention, showed them love.
We have a pregnancy center next to a PP clinic by the name of St. Germaine’s.
I had no idea of the connection to miracles with St. Germaine. Always learning something.
To your comment — sharing the faith with the young girls who come seeking an alternative to abortion — and the staff of the pregnancy center gives them just what you said for St. Germaine, **gave them positive attention, showed them love.**
You’re right, good connection. A lot of people who aren’t physically hungry are starved for genuine love. A lot of pregnancies result because young people confuse sexual desire with love.
** Born a hunchback, dwarf, blind, and lame, her family was ashamed of her and kept her hidden in virtual imprisonment for nine years in a tiny cell attached to a forest church.**
Oh, my, what a story!