Bob and Penny Lord
journeyed to the Shrine of Saint Germaine in Pibrac France.
She is also known as Saint
Patron Saint of the Unwanted
She was born disfigured and
unwanted by her father and stepmother and force to live in the barn with
She tended the sheep and
soon miracles began to occur around her.
Bob and Penny recount many
of these miracles and give a full account of her life in this program.
Miracle of the Sheep
Miracle of the Roses
Miracle of the river
The townspeople of Pibrac
soon knew they had a Saint in their midst and flocked to her.
The city of Pibrac
celebrates her life to this day after 400 years with processions and
festivals each year.
Taped in Pibrac, France
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Saint Germaine de Pibrac.
She was born with a crippled and
paralyzed right arm, and a disease commonly called in those days,
ďScrofulaĒ, which is a form of tuberculosis which affects the neck. In
her case, it also made her neck and cheeks malformed, and not at all
pleasant to look at. At times, she suffered from swelling and open,
pussy sores. No one knew for sure who her parents were. Laurent Cousin
may have been her father, but that was never determined for sure. She
might also have been left at the doorstep as a baby, perhaps because of
her deformities, or she may have been the child of Laurentís first wife,
who died of the plague when Germaine was an infant.
Whatever the case, he never cared for her. He remarried, and his new
wife hated Germaine, possibly because the father didnít care for her, or
because she, his new wife, was just a very hateful person. She treated
Germaine horribly. She was kept away from her brothers and sisters, or
step-family, whatever they were. She was allowed to sleep under a
stairway in the barn, and never allowed to live in the house. She lived
in rags, and never had a pair of shoes. She ate the stale bread and
water which was left for her at the front door of the house every day.
She was required to spin an enormous amount of wool, which was an almost
impossible task, considering her infirmities. But the Lord helped her.
She always did her job. On the few occasions where she was not able to
spin the required amount of wool, or perform any of the other tasks she
had been given, because of cold weather, which caused her fingers and
toes to freeze, or if she were suffering an illness, which incapacitated
her, she was beaten. She was beaten for many reasons, and sometimes she
was beaten for no reason. Just based on the step-motherís mood in any
given situation, she would be beaten. The intensity of the mood of the
step-mother usually determined how badly she would be beaten. The local
farmers could see welts and bruises on her hands and face. There were
also bruises in areas which could not be seen, her back, her legs and
Her father never interfered with his wifeís ill treatment of the girl.
The only concession he seemed to give her was the permission to go to
Mass every week, which she took advantage of whenever she could. This is
where the Lord broke through the dense fog of her life. He showed her a
completely different view of how her life could be. He gave her an
understanding of the Sacraments. She developed a hunger for the Mass.
During the week, as she was tending her sheep, she could hear the church
bells ring for the beginning of Mass. She wanted so badly to be there.
Her spirit soared from the field she was in to the Church, and she took
part in the Mass spiritually, much like St. Paschal Baylon, who would be
in the field when he heard the bells of the Church, and his heart took
flight to take part in the Mass.
time came when that was not enough for her. You have to realize that
this was her life. Her entire existence up until this time when the Lord
introduced her to the Mass was at best, dreary. She developed a hunger
for the Eucharist, which was to be the catalyst which brought about the
beginning of one of the miracles given to St. Germaine. One day, the
Lord spoke to her heart. She was out in the field, tending the sheep.
She heard the bells which called the people to Mass. She knew they were
calling her to Mass. She could not be without the Lord. She took her
distaff, a staff with a cleft end for holding flax, which she used for
spinning her wool, and thrust it into the ground. From that day on, it
didnít matter what time of the year it was, the summertime when the
ground was soft, or the coldest day of winter when the ground was rock
solid. When she thrust the piece of wood into the ground, it stayed. She
then huddled her flock of sheep around the distaff, and told them to
stay there, and stay together. Do not wander off. Then she ran off to
the Church on those days to take part in the Mass.
Now, to those of us who have no experience in sheep herding, what she
did was not only ill-advised, it was ridiculous, almost impossible.
Thereís no way you can keep the sheep together unless the shepherd is
with them, guiding them. In addition, in the forest where she tended
sheep, it was infested with wolves, which always attacked unattended
herds of sheep. However, her sheep were never touched. She never lost a
sheep. The wolves didnít attack, and no sheep ever wandered off.