Saint Germaine Cousin (1579-1601), virgin of the Church, a long-suffering young woman who despite her trials lived a life of simple love and adoration of the Lord. Through her witness, the grace and peace of Christ shone into the lives of those she encountered, deepening faith, affecting conversion, and working miracles. Saint Germaine Cousin is the patron saint of victims of child abuse, a problem that continues to impact millions of children world-wide each year, and an estimated 800,000 children in the United States. UNICEF estimates that nearly 20% of girls and 10% of boys will be victims of physical or sexual abuse prior to the age of 18. From this startling statistics, it is clear that our world needs the intercession of Saint Germaine now, more than ever!
"Dear God, please don't let me be too hungry or too thirsty. Help me to please my mother. And help me to please you." From her simple request, repeated daily, grew an inspiring faith, profound holiness, and a deep trust of God.
Saint Germaine left her flock each day, in the care of the Lord and her guardian angel, setting down her staff and crook, and walking into the nearby town to attend daily Mass. She never worried about her sheep, confident that the Lord would watch over them. And despite the constant threat of thieves and wolves, no harm every came to her flock. Miraculously, on a day when it had rained torrentially, local villagers witnessed the swollen river that Germaine was forced to cross on the way to Mass part, allowing her to walk on dry land to the church.
"Please accept this flower, Mother. God sends it to you in sign of his forgiveness." In her heart, Germaine had forgiven her stepmother—the woman who had tormented her for years—as well.
"Last night I saw a virgin going up to Heaven. She was wearing a brilliant crown and was accompanied by a crowd of angels that were brighter than the stars." The faithful townspeople knew at once that it was Germaine, the holy shepherdess.
O Saint Germaine, look down from Heaven and intercede for the many abused children in our world. Help them to sanctify these sufferings. Strengthen children who suffer the effects of living in broken families. Protect those children who have been abandoned by their parents and live in the streets. Beg God's mercy on the parents who abuse their children. Intercede for handicapped children and their parents.
Saint Germaine, you who suffered neglect and abuse so patiently, pray for us. Amen.
Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?
Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."
To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."
As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."