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Pibrac, France: Tomb of Saint Germaine Cousin

About Saint Germaine Cousin:

Born in 1579, Saint Germaine Cousin lived a life of suffering from the time of her birth. She had a deformed hand and scrofula (a condition in which the bacteria that causes tuberculosis causes symptoms outside the lungs. This usually takes the form of inflamed and irritated lymph nodes in the neck).

Her mother died when she was an infant and her stepmother abused her.  Germaine’s father banished Germaine from the house to avoid the contagion of scrofula. From childhood, she worked as a shepherdess, returning at night to a bed of vine branches in the stable or garret.  Also, although she was extremely poor, she shared her meager rations with anyone who was hungry.

Despite this mistreatment, Germaine practiced many austerities and devotions. She went to Mass every day; and when the bell rang to call the faithful, she stuck her staff in the ground and left her flocks in God’s care. Even though the pasture was next to the wolf-infested forest, she never lost a single lamb…they stayed safe and secure where she had left them. 

The villagers mocked her piety and made fun of her deformities; however that soon changed as they saw the signs of God’s favor towards her. For example, in order to go to the church from her pasture, she had to cross a stream. After a heavy rain, the stream would become impassable. When Germaine needed to go to church, the waters parted for her to walk through and her ragged garments never even got wet.

Germaine’s father finally realized how badly he was treating his daughter and asked her to come home and live with the family. She begged to stay in her humble position, however, and died in her sleep on her bed of vines at age 22.

Tomb of Saint Germaine
La Mort de Sainte-Germaine ( Comte Raoul. de Pibrac ) 1910 (Salon de Paris)

Germaine’s grave was opened in 1644 and her body had not decomposed at all. It was removed from the grave and displayed in the parish church. She became one of the most popular saints in France and many miracles were attributed to her intercession:

Cures of blindness, congenital disease of hip and spinal disease among others.  In addition she is credited with the multiplication of food for the community of the Good Shepherd at Bourges in 1845.

Pope Pius IX proclaimed her a saint on June 29, 1867 and we celebrate her Feast Day on June 15.

She is Patron Saint of abandoned people; abuse victims; against poverty; disabled people; girls from rural areas; illness; impoverishment; loss of parents; shepherdesses; sick people; unkind people; and physical therapists.

Her tomb is here in the Church of Saint Germaine (Eglise Sainte Marie-Madeleine) in Pibrac.


 Traveling to the Church of Saint Germaine (Eglise Sainte Marie-Madeleine) Pibrac in Pibrac, France:

The nearest major city is Toulouse, from Saint Cyprien-Arènes Station you can catch a train to Pibrac…the trip only takes about 15 minutes.  Of course, from here you are not far from two famous apparition sites of the Blessed Virgin Mary:  Lourdes (3 1/2 hours by train) and La Salette (4 hours by train).

Address:  Espl. Sainte-Germaine, 31220 Pibrac, France

Tel:  +33 05 61 86 08 34

Click here for the official website of the Basilica of Saint Germaine in Pibrac, France.

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