St. Germaine Cousin

 

St. Germaine Cousin was born in 1579 in France. As an infant her father Laurent married a woman named Hortense who despised the young girl. Germaine was born weak, ill and with a deformity of her right hand. Hortense, in her cruelty, starved Germaine forcing her to crawl to the eat from a dog dish. Hortense even poured boiling hot water on Germaine's legs, all the while her father did nothing to protect her.
Due to the abuse of her stepmother, Germaine became more weak and ill, developing a disease known as scrofula, a type of tuberculosis that causes glands to swell. She developed sores that left her immune system vulnerable to other diseases.
Germaines own siblings took part in the torment, they put ashes in the little food she did receive. Afraid her own children would catch Germaines diseases, Hortense made her sleep in the barn, and the only food she ate were the scraps for the animals.
Instead of being lonely, Germaine found solitude with God. She had a rosary made of knots and would pray simple prayers. Out of her prayers grew a deep faith and trust in God. She attended daily Mass without fail. One day a long rain flooded the river and a villager saw the river part so Germaine to make it to Mass on time.
Germaines holiness infuriated her step mother and she waited to catch Germaine doing wrong. One evening Hortense saw Germaine with a bundle in her apron, after chasing and screaming at the child, Germaine opened her apron and beautiful bright flowers that didn’t belong during that season tumbled out. Germaine handed a flower to her mother and said “Please accept this flower,Mother. God sends it to you as a sign of His forgiveness.”

Germaine was found dead in 1601 at the age of 22. When her body was exhumed 40 years later, it was undecayed.

She is the patron of child abuse victims

St. Germaine Cousin