Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

June 15 | Suffering (Pt. 2)

Saint Germaine of Pibrac

A.D. 1579–1601

We all suffer.

Suffering comes in many shapes and sizes, and wears many masks. Losing a parent at the end of a long life is different than losing a sibling at a young age. The first may create a painful ache that just won’t go away. The second may be unbearable—and yet as time goes on, somehow you learn to bear it.

And then there’s being diagnosed with a terrible illness. You may walk out of the doctors office, your ears ringing and everything seeming to be a blur. All around you people are just getting on with their lives, but your life has changed in an instant. Being sick yourself is a different type of sadness and a different type of suffering.

Saint Germaine of Pibrac, also known as Germana, was told she didn’t have long to live from a young age. And her short life was filled with suffering. But what she became known for was how she responded to that suffering.

Germana was born with a deformed hand and a rare type of lymph infection called scrofula which caused swollen lesions on her neck. As a result, Germana’s abusive stepmother put her into isolation, and she rarely saw other children. She was in profound suffering, both physically and emotionally. 

But spiritually, she was free. Germana knew her suffering was not meaningless. She didn’t give in to a life a despair. Instead, she offered up her suffering to heal the pain of those around her and bring lost souls closer to Jesus.

Once she was a bit older, Germana was allowed to attend daily Mass, and she prayed every day to Mary, the Mother of God. She spent much of her time caring for the poor and the sick, whose sufferings she could understand. She offered up her own suffering to ease theirs. 

At home, she lived a life of simplicity. Germana slept under the staircase of her family's barn and spent her days as a shepherdess for their sheep. As she walked the fields, she would pray the Rosary and meditate on the lives of the saints. 

She lived with profound trust that God can redeem and transform our suffering, though we may not fully understand how until we meet him in heaven.

We are in the same situation. We all suffer. And we cannot fully understand the value of our sufferings in this lifetime. But we can offer them up as a prayer that God can use to relieve the pain of others.

Who can you offer up your suffering for today?


I will offer up my pain and suffering.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Patron Saint of: Abandoned People and Disabled People

Also Known As: Germana, Germaine Cousin

Feast Day: June 15

Feast Day Shared By: Saint Bernard of Methon and Saint Vitus

Canonized: June 29, 1867

Canonized By: Pope Pius IX

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