Jeanne-Germaine Castang, the future Marie Celine of the Presentation, was born in 1878 in Nojals, France, to an extremely poor family. While her life was one of sorrows and sufferings, Blessed Marie-Celine of the Presentation shows how she bore them all with patience and humility, and above all divine charity. Compiled by the Poor Clares of Rockford, Illinois, this life story of a teenage Beata will move you to tears—of pity and of inspiration.
Contracting poliomyelitis at age four, she lived with a permanent limp. Her mother died when Jeanne-Germaine was young, leaving her to help at the home and care for her brother's tuberculosis—a disease she contracted herself. With her father's business ventures unsuccessful, Jeanne-Germaine had to beg for her food, despite developing a sore on her foot, as the family was sleeping in a barn.
Eventually, Mr. Castang found work as a doorkeeper in another town, where his family went to live with him. Jeanne-Germaine, however, stayed with the Sisters of Nazareth in Nojals, hoping to eventually join her sister at another religious community. She was refused, but managed to make it into the Poor Clares community at Talence in 1896, taking the name Marie-Celine of the Presentation. Her tuberculosis began to take a more severe toll on her, and though she persisted in sublime virtues and piety, her body could handle no more, and she died in 1897 at 19, making her final vows on her deathbed.
Marie Celine of the Presentation was canonized in 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI. May her courage and immeasurable charity flood our own hearts with pity and move us to imitate her example. Every saint gives a different beautiful insight into our holy Catholic Religion; let this young maiden guide us to perfection, too.
- Compiled by:
- Poor Clares of Rockford, Illinois
- TAN Books
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