+ Christina (who is sometimes known as Christina Bruso) was born in Stommeln (part of modern-day Germany). Although she learned to read as a child, she could not write. A vision of Jesus she received as a child, inspired her to dedicate herself as a “bride of Christ” and at the age of twelve she ran away from her family home to become a Beguine nun.
+ Christina’s piety and eccentricities often troubled the other nuns and she eventually returned home and came under the direction of the local pastor, a priest named Johannes. She suffered terribly from what she perceived to be demonic attacks.
+ In 1268, Christina received the stigmata and the wounds reappeared throughout her life each Easter Sunday.
+ In 1288, Christina’s mystical experiences came to an end and she lived out her days in a Beguine convent. The events of her life were later recorded by a Swedish Dominican friar, Peter of Dacia, who was a long-time friend and supporter of Christina.
+ Blessed Christina died on November 6, 1312, and devotion to her was officially approved by Pope Saint Pius X in 1908. In 1944, the church containing her relics was bombed by Allied Forces fighting the Nazis; her relics survived the destruction.
The Beguines were women who lived in semi-monastic communities in Northern Europe between the 13th and 16th centuries. While their members did not take formal religious vows, they dedicated their lives to poverty, care for the poor and sick, and to religious devotions. Their lifestyle was directly influenced by a spiritual revival of the period that has come to be known as the Devotio Moderna.
“I am a person who believes in Christ. I want to live so that all things in me are strengthened by Christ.”—Blessed Christina of Stommeln (taken from an early account of her life)
Hear us, God our Savior, that, as we rejoice in commemorating the Virgin blessed Christina, we may be instructed by her loving devotion. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Virgins)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.