Christina was born in Brusthem, Belgium in 1150. When she was just three years old she was orphaned. At 21, she reportedly had something akin to an epileptic fit and appeared to have died.
When Mass was being said for her, her body suddenly soared to the top of the roof of the Church. When the priest ordered her to come down, she did, and related that she had been to Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory. She went on to say that she was then supposed to return to earth to pray for the suffering souls in Purgatory.
Christina was very introverted and assiduously avoided being around others. She would take extreme measures to avoid contact with people by doing such things as climbing high up in trees or even hiding in ovens. Many people thought her to be insane, but others who knew her venerated her for her holiness. She lived her entire life in poverty and spent her last three years living in St. Catherine’s convent at Saint-Trond, where she died on July 25, 1224.
There have been other saints that some felt were more insane than they were saintly. However, it is not for us to judge others, as our Lord Jesus said. St. John the Baptizer lived in the wilderness and ate locusts, but our Lord said that among men born of women, John was the greatest. Jesus instructed us to love one another. On a human level, Christina may have seemed unusual, but she lived to please God, not men. This is the calling of each of us: to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, and love one another as we love ourselves.
St. Christina, you lived a life of poverty and loneliness in the eyes of others. But you knew that in the eyes of God, you were wealthy and had His love and the companionship of saints and angels. Help us to see beyond the things of the world and to realize we are never alone with God and that we are surrounded by a “great cloud of witnesses that have gone before us.” Pray that we remember to offer up our sufferings for those who do not see beyond the material and who are seeking love and fulfillment, that they may come to know God and realize that they are never alone. Amen.
Other Saints We Remember Today
St. Christiana (nino) (320), Virgin, Apostle of Georgia (Asia)