St. Germaine of Pibrac
Pibrac is the little village in France where Germaine was born around 1579. She spent her life there. She was always a sickly girl and not pretty. In fact, her right hand was deformed and helpless. Her father paid little attention to her. Her stepmother did not want her around her own healthy children. So Germaine slept with the sheep in the barn, even in cold weather. She dressed in rags and was laughed at by other children. She spent all day tending the sheep out in the fields. When she came home at night, her stepmother often screamed at her and beat her.
Yet this poor girl learned to talk with God and to remember that he was with her all the time. She always managed to get to daily Mass. She left her sheep in care of her guardian angel. Never once did one wander away from her shepherd's staff she planted in the ground.
Germaine often gathered young children around her to teach them about the faith. She wanted their hearts to be full of God's love. She tried her best to help the poor, too. She shared with beggars the little bit of food she was given to eat. One winter day, her stepmother accused her of stealing bread. The woman chased her with a stick. But what fell from Germaine's apron was not bread. It was summer flowers.
By now people no longer made fun of Ger-maine. In fact, they loved and admired her. She could have begun to live in her father's house, but she chose to keep on sleeping in the barn. Then, one morning in 1601, when she was twenty-two, she was found dead on her straw mattress. Her life of great suffering was over. God worked miracles to show that she was a saint.
In our sufferings, we can always turn to Jesus and ask his help. Allowing him to remain in our heart is the most intimate way to converse with Jesus, especially when we receive him in Holy Communion.