Saint Germaine Cousin

St. Germaine Cousin (1579–1601) was born in a remote French village to a peasant farmer. She was born with a deformed right arm and a disease that causes abscesses in her neck. Her mother died when she was an infant, and her father remarried. Due to Germaine's deformities, her stepmother was thoroughly disgusted with her. She severely neglected and physically abused the child, and taught others to do the same. Starving, sick, and dressed in rags with no shoes, Germaine was forced to sleep in the barn. Her stepmother once attempted to kill her off by sending her to tend sheep near a wolf-infested forest. St. Germaine was a simple and pious child, and through her extreme hardships she developed a deep interior life. She prayed the rosary and went to Mass daily, leaving her sheep to the care of her guardian angel. Even though she was emaciated, she shared the little food she had with beggars. Her piety was admired by the village children, and adults gradually became aware of her holiness, especially when news of her miracles began to circulate. St. Germaine died at the age of twenty-two, succumbing to her poor living conditions. Many years later her body was found incorrupt. Villagers began praying for her intercession and receiving miraculous cures, resulting in her canonization in 1867. St. Germaine is the patron saint of unattractive people, peasant girls, abuse victims, handicapped people, and abandoned people. Her feast day is June 15th.
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