Saint Germaine of Pibrac
Jul 06, 2015 / Written by: America Needs Fatima
Feast June 15
Virgin and Patron Saint of Victims of Child Abuse
Germaine was born in 1579 in Pibrac, a village in southern France. Her mother died soon after her birth, leaving the child in the care of her husband. Germaine’s father, who had no love for her on account of her right hand being paralyzed and deformed, eventually remarried.
Her new step-mother was abusive, forcing her to sleep in the stable or in a cupboard under the stairs. She gave the sickly girl scraps and isolated her from her healthier step-siblings.
As soon as she was old enough, she was charged with the care of the family’s flock of sheep. During this time, surrounded by nature as she was, Germaine became closer to God, and attended Mass as often as she could. If she heard the church bells toll for the beginning of Mass, she would plant her crook and her distaff in the ground, commend her flock to her guardian angel and hurry to receive Holy Communion.
When she returned, she would find that though she had left the flock unattended, not one of the sheep in her flock had strayed or fallen prey to the wolves that often lurked nearby.
One winter day, when the ground was still frozen, her step-mother chased her with a stick, accusing her of concealing stolen bread in her apron. But when Germaine let her apron fall, summer flowers tumbled onto the hard ground.
Her parents realized the deformed girl had been touched by God, and showing her kindness at last, invited her to live with them in the house. Yet she refused, and continued to live as before until one morning in 1601, she was found dead in the little cupboard under the stairs. She was twenty-two years old.
Germaine was buried in the church of Pibrac. Forty-three years after her death, her body was accidentally exhumed and was found incorrupt and flexible.