Saint Germaine Cousin was born deformed in 1579 in France. She was outcast by her stepmother and disdained by fellow villagers. Germaine spent her days with the sheep, an assignment by her stepmother who also forced her to sleep on a wood plank under the steps or in the barn. In Germaine’s many hours alone, she meditated on the rosary and the Angelus. Little children were not afraid of her, and they came to her for gentle teaching and the sharing of her scraps of food. She was content.
Germaine died on her wood plank bed at the age of 22. Forty-three years after her burial at the village church, her tomb was opened and her intact remains were found. Then a flood of miracles occurred in her name. In fact, over 400 miracles were recorded during her beatification process.
Her story made me pause. I wonder how often I encounter a person whom God has placed on earth to spread the good news in an unusual, but powerful, way. Do I ignore them? Or, worse, do I disdain them because they look or act or speak differently than I am accustomed to? Have I missed blessings for myself and blessings I could pass onto others?