Germaine of Pibrac, St.

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Virgin; b. Pibrac, France, 1579; d. there, June 1,1601. Her mother died when she was eight. Her stepmother hated Germaine, and under the pretense of protecting her own children from scrofula, which Germaine had contracted, forced her to sleep in the stable with the sheep. For most of the rest of her life the shepherdess suffered the rigors of the seasons and family neglect. Among legendary accounts is one of Germaine's placing her staff on the ground while she attended daily Mass, her sheep remaining unharmed in a wolf-infested area. Extraordinary incidents and the girl's unusual patience and kindness brought respect and reverence from derisive villagers. Her stepmother relented also, and shortly before Germaine's death permitted her to rejoin the family. However, Germaine preferred the solitude of the stable, where she died. In 1644 when Germaine's grave was opened to receive another corpse, her body was incorrupt. The movement for beatification, interrupted by the French Revolution, was later resumed. In 1854 pius x proclaimed her blessed and in 1857, a saint.

Feast: June 15.

Bibliography: h. ghÉon, St. Germaine of the Wolf Country, tr. f. j. sheed (London 1932). a. stolz, The Life of St. Germana, tr. n. groth (Little Falls, Minn. 1936).

[c. lynch]