Arnaud Dumouch, 2005,

Table of the Stories

Translated by: Alain Quenneville

Germaine, who entered heaven like a bolt of lightning

Matthew 19, 30 " And many that are first, shall be last: and the last shall be first. "



1594, 17 years

Once upon a time in a nondescript village, was a girl whom nobody ever noticed. Her hair wasn’t gold and her eyes weren’t green and as deep as the forest. She was thin, sick and had an atrophied right hand. She definitely had had a mother but lost her when she was about three years old. Her father lost interest in her. She lived quietly he almost forgot her existence. Later, her father remarried. His stepmother took her to mistreating her and demanded that she make herself useful. That's how she winded up as a shepherd during the day and maidservant in the evening. Shortly after, when she was 9 years old, stepsisters were born. She soon became a real embarrassment and exiled out of the house and slept in the garret of the stable’s staircase. They gave her a pallet of vine-twigs for a mattress and the barest minimum of food. She was forbidden for her to talk to her sisters. So Germaine, (her name) spent all her time with the animals, in fields or in the stable.

The village priest noticed her, every morning, as discreet as a breath, this young girl who slipped in for mass, listened piously, but never took communion. As soon as «The mass is ended» was said she disappeared and went back to the herd, which had been left alone in fields, never causing damage at the neighbors, and staying within the borders that she marked for them before leaving.

 The priest thought he would need to get a hold of her some day and to offer her to attend catechism classes. But he never seemed to find the time. So Germaine learned to know God by listening to the Sunday sermons. Not knowing how to read, she recited her rosary. She chose Mary as her mother and began talking to God... And it became her joy. When she met children of the neighboring tenanted farms, she was good with them and usually spoke of heaven to them.

 1597, 20 years

In the field where she minded sheep, her guardian angel watched. He wasn’t a usual guardian angel. God had posted one of seven Seraphim’s to her as they do, once in every generation. It is because Lucifer was claiming her soul for himself. During a celestial conference, he had began shouting: « I insist for greater power on Germaine. I can’t content myself with a weakening of her physical integrity or her abandonment by her family.

Let me strike her with tuberculosis, and she will become like the others: chasing life’s unholy pleasures ». He got the approval he wanted. So, for about a year, Germaine exhausted herself, body and soul. She couldn’t feel God’s presence anymore. She attended mass but not with any fervor. And it's true that, usually under such circumstances, some poor souls gave themselves up to sin, searching in life for the love we all crave. Germaine simply remained faithful, reciting her rosary valiantly offering it for other souls of. Everywhere, in the village, the girls her age were married and mothers by now. Germaine? Well she was alone.

« She is a real queen » thought the Seraphim, skeptically noticing her candid humility. And in this deserted feedlot, if men had really been able to see, they would have observed an uninterrupted parade of millions of celestial beings, coming to assist and to support Germaine in the middle of her sheep.


December 31st, 1600, 24 years

Lucifer went to see the council of the friends of God. He got up and said, t: « let me giver her the ultimate test, despair. She will disavow. Nobody holds on love in despair. »

– Noon, Lucifer? A female voice says. Are you so sure of yourself?

This voice was that of Saint Blandine weren’t you many times subdued by the smallest of living beings? Do you still want to take the risk?

- I’ll take it, said Lucifer serenely. And if she falls, you’ll all know how impossible it is to attain the qualities you so prize. And I say it to you one more time: humanity is miserable and God’s plan is impossible. Because even unassuming souls take pleasure in sin, like prostitutes, souls that are loving and think they are worthy of heaven and fall to arrogance; souls, which are virtuous, are the worst: they are hard and proud. But the soul doesn’t yet exist, that can be unassuming, loving and virtuous all at the same time. [Except the Other, of course]. All of you, you fell and you are here only because God is not justice HE just forgave you. And you, Blandine, you weren’t that proud when you doubted God in that arena facing the wild bull. At the end of the world, when each will see all that I know, God will have to show his Justice. He will have to acknowledge his failure!

- Except for Mary, of course, added holy Blandine.

- Yes, except for the "Other one". One swallow is not the harbinger of spring, piped Lucifer.


Lucifer accepted the supreme approval. And, from that day, Germaine lost faith. How is it possible? It is an unimaginable test that only atheists can know.

The Germaine’s seraphim noticed her soul: it was a desert of misery and loneliness. He watched her for a sign of revolt. It couldn’t even be a true sin, because so much of what she was living was unique. He thought: «she looks like Jesus did in the Olive Garden. But, on that day, I was able to appear to the Messiah and console HIM. » The angel thought of a mysterious word in the gospel according to John 14:12 « Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth in me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto the Father. »

That evening, burnt out, Germaine simply said to God: « Jesus, I don’t believe in you any more. Even in this I haven’t been able to give to you till the end. I‘ll to go Hell forever, I guess. I deserve it but I’ll still love you there. »

 July 1st, 1601, 24 years

One morning, Germaine didn’t get up. They couldn't hear the bucket noises in the stable. Surprised the cruel mother in law said to her father: « Your lazy daughter’s still sleeping, go wake her up. » Her father found her dead under the staircase.

When the village priest learned of her death he was ashamed. He blamed himself for never having spoken to her during her lifetime. He told himself  « What she didn’t get in life I will give her in death » He took a wedding dress that had been given to the parish and had someone dress her up. They crowned her head with a garland of field carnations blended with golden ears of rye fat with grains.

He had a grave dug in the church courtyard. They lowered her gently in the ground, in a finery that would have been in keeping with a day of first communion she never made. And the priest said a solemn mass accompanied with a children’s choir called for especially for this occasion. Her father came, as did her stepmother, and sisters. Now that she had died they remembered her as a good person. They were indeed sad. Then she was forgotten.

 June 30th, 1601, midnight

 It was Saint Blandine who entered quietly in the stable. She noiselessly woke Germaine up. 

« Germaine, get up, it’s time to leave. » Germaine opened her eyes. At first she couldn’t see. Everything in the stable was lit and the sheep looked on with petrified surprise and peacefulness.

« It is the hour. It is the day of the Lord, the day of anger », whispered Blandine.

Germaine got up. She looked at Sainte Blandine, immediately and mysteriously acknowledged her, just like friends that frequently saw each other. She especially saw her soul and viewed it, as in a panorama, the sum total of her martyrdom. She saw her shouts of despair when the mad bull they had set loose gored her. Her hands caught in a net couldn’t even try to fend off the blows. She saw her death throes when the Roman soldiery dragged her denuded body in the arena, under the howl of a cheering crowds.

« Did you loose faith then? » she asked.

- We didn’t lose faith Germaine, neither you nor I. What we had lost was an impression. But I am going to introduce you somebody else. Are you ready?

Blandine held her the hand and took her, like a bird towards a shining light which. She penetrated the light and immediately found herself in front of a young lady, very pretty and so soft. She saw Mary and as before she attended her martyr. she saw her, in despair at the foot of her son, at the foot of Jesus’ cross.

« So you to lost faith? » she asked.

- Germaine, we were all milled like grains. No one can escapes it. But we always loved HIM. But I am going to introduce you somebody else. Are you ready?

When Mary said "Somebody", Germaine understood that she was going to see God, face to face.

 It was then a powerful voice cried out. It was Lucifer’s. « Stop everything! I can see you coming! I’m claiming this soul! Ah…I see, you want to help her escape the power of my words? You really wouldn’t want her to make an entrance to the Vision and Essence of the Almighty on the sly now, would you? Didn’t I receive the unalienable right to suggest my idea of good, to her? »

- Lucifer? A female voice piped up. Are you so sure of yourself? This was Sainte Blandine’s speaking. Haven’t you been subdued enough times, by the humblest of living beings? Do you want to take risk?

- I’ll take it, shouted Lucifer. And so it was granted.

Then he appeared to Germaine in the form of his light. He paraded all of her life by her, pointing out here and there, a discouragement, a depression, and a nostalgic moment for her unknown mother. It was pathetic. He found nothing concrete: not the slightest sin of impurity, not the smallest vainglory not even the theft of a crust of bread. When, finally at the end of his arguments, he says to Germaine: « I heard you claiming eternal damnation. » The whole of heaven’s hosts were outraged by Lucifer’s deceitful and incredible demonstration. Everyone saw the truth: Germaine was humble, loving and virtuous. Not a trace of mortal sin anywhere.

German shouldn’t even have had to defend herself. Suddenly a powerful anger burst suddenly throughout the heavens, shaking the earth itself. Jesus appeared and in a gesture, revealed Germaine’s soul for all to see. A marvel. The incredible offering of her suffering, the absence self pity, and a constant attention to the needs of others. Jesus barely contained himself in front of all and exclaimed: « Get this demon out of here »; and Lucifer buried himself in the shame of his defeat. Jesus introduced Himself to Germaine, and cried. The universe heard, and news reached the palace of Trinity

Never since Mary Ascension, had they seen anyone entering so quickly in God’s eternal garden.

 « It is the hour. It is the day of the Lord, the day of wrath », repeated Sainte Blandine.

 December 28th, 1644, holiday of the saint Innocents

The noise, made by this Divine wrath went around the World. On earth, it produced a severe tremor that is still remember. Here is the tale:

Her remains had been buried in the parish church of Pibrac in front of the pulpit In 1644 when the grave was opened by the gravedigger William Cassé, and a helper Gaillard Baron to receive one of their relative, the body of Germaine was discovered fresh, perfectly preserved, and miraculously raised at almost to floor level of the of the church. It was exposed for public view near the pulpit, until a noble lady, the wife of François de Beauregard, presented as thanks offering, a lead casket to hold her remains. She had been cured of a malignant and incurable ulcer in her breast, and her infant son whose life was despaired of was restored to health on her seeking the intercession of Germaine. This was the first of a long series of wonderful cures wrought at her relics. The lead casket was placed in the sacristy, and in 1661 and 1700 the remains were viewed and found fresh and intact by the vicars-general of Toulouse, who have left testamentary depositions of the fact.

Expert medical evidence deposed that the body had not been embalmed, and experimental tests showed that the preservation was not due to any property inherent in the soil. In 1700 a movement was begun to procure Germaine’s the beatification, but it fell through owing to accidental causes. In 1793 a revolutionary tinsmith, named Toulza, and three accomplices desecrated the casket was. They took out her remains buried them in the sacristy, throwing quicklime and water on them. After the Revolution, her body was found to be still intact save where the quicklime had done its work.

The private veneration of Germaine had continued from the original finding of the body in 1644, supported and encouraged by numerous cures and miracles. The cause for beatification was resumed in1850. Documents attested to more than 400 miracles or extraordinary graces, and thirty postulatory letters from archbishops and bishops in France besought the beatification from the Holy See. The miracles attested to were cures of every kind (of blindness, congenital and resulting from disease, of hip and spinal disease), besides the multiplication of food for the distressed community of the Good Shepherd at Bourges in 1845.

From that moment on, the miracles never ceased multiplying. On May 5th 1853 the authenticity of the miracles was proclaimed and on May 7th1854 in Saint John Lateran basilica Pius the 1X, solemnly proclaimed her beatification, and on June 29th 1867, the 18th centenary of the martyrdom of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, she was placed on the canon of virgin saints. Her feast is kept in the Diocese of Toulouse on June 15th. She is represented in art with a shepherd's crook or a distaff with a watchdog, a sheep; or with flowers in her apron.

The Church declared her to be a saint because she had known to love God with all her heart and soul as well love heroically all those who surrounded her. Orphaned abused and mistreated by close relatives, she is the patron saint of all who suffer are ill treated in one-way or another. Sainte Germaine was proclaimed patron saint of the weak the sick and the disinherited.