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Saturday, May 26, 2018
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Daily Saint

April 8: St. Julie Billiart

Mary Rose Julie Billiart was born in Belgium in 1751. Her uncle, the village school teacher, taught her to read and write. She especially loved to study her catechism. In fact, when she was just seven, Julie would explain the faith to other little children. When her parents became poor, she worked hard to help support the family. She even went to harvest the crops. Yet she always found time to pray, to visit the sick, and to teach catechism.

While she was still a young woman, she became very ill and completely paralyzed. Although helpless, St. Julie offered her prayers so that many people would find eternal happiness with God. She was more united to God than ever and kept on teaching catechism from bed. She was a very spiritual person. People came to her for advice because she helped them grow closer to Jesus and practice their faith with more love. She encouraged all to receive Holy Communion often. Many young women were inspired by Julie's love for God. They were willing to spend their time and money for good works. With Julie as their leader, they started the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.

Once a priest gave a mission in the town where Julie was. He asked her to make a novena with him for an intention which he would not tell her. After five days, on the feast of the Sacred Heart, he said: "Mother, if you have faith, take one step in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus." Mother Billiart, who had been paralyzed for twenty-two years, stood up and was cured!

St. Julie spent the rest of her life training young women to become sisters. She watched over her congregation. She had to suffer much from those who did not understand her mission, but she always trusted God. Her favorite words were: "How good is the good God." He assured her that someday her religious congregation would be very large. And that is just what happened. Although St. Julie died on April 8, 1816, today there are many of St. Julie's sisters all over the world. Mother Julie was proclaimed a saint by Pope Paul VI in 1969.

Reflection: "How good is the good God." -St. Julie Billiart