Thursday, May 6, 2010

St. Bernadette - Marie-Bernard

On April 16, 1879, Bernadette -- or Sister Marie-Bernard, as she was known within her order -- died in the Sainte Croix (Holy Cross) Infirmary of the Convent of Saint-Gildard. She was thirty-five. Born into a humble family which little by little fell into extreme poverty, Bernadette had always been a frail child. Quite young, she had already suffered from digestive trouble, then after having just escaped being a victim of the cholera epidemic of 1855, she experienced painful attacks of asthma, and her ill health almost caused her to be cut off for ever from the religious life.

I was thinking of St. Bernadette today as I was taking my numerous medications for asthma, which as of late has become quite severe. Bernadette also lived with asthma. I can only imagine the suffering she went through, without the availability of modern medicine. Bernadette is the perfect patron saint for asthmatics. Bernadette would say "It is so good, so sweet and above all, so beneficial to suffer."

I pray and ask for God's grace to help me embrace suffering as Bernadette did so lovingly.


Humilium, Deus, protector, amator, et corona,
qui beatam Mariam Bernardam, virginem
mira patientia et caritate clarescere fecisti,
praesta, quaesumus, eius intercessione et exemplo,
per simplices fidei semitas,
ad tuam in caelis visionem pervenire mereamur.
Per Dominum.

O God, protector, lover, and crown of the humble,
who didst make the virgin, blessed Mary Bernard
shine with a wondrous patience and charity,
grant, we beseech Thee, by her intercession and example,
that [walking] in the simple paths of faith,
we may at length be found worthy
of beholding Thee in heaven.
Through Our Lord.

1 comment:

Gabriella said...

I will pray for you, Brian. Hope the asthma will disappear as the good weather hails.

St. Bernardette is the first book on saints' lives I read as a little girl and I remember crying my heart out when reading the last chapters ...