Their examples teach us to be joyful. What a perfect time to be reminded of that, with Easter being around the corner and all.
Story goes that during the French Revolution, St. Billiart’s father was shot. She was sitting next to him and witnessed the event, which traumatized her for years. Years later, she later became a sister. One of her superiors explained her this way: “She was happy and liked to see us happy, too.” And she spent her life bringing that kind of happiness about.
The other saint, St. Maria Magdalen of Canossa, who had a troubling childhood herself. She undertook a ‘really big project” when she decided to start a school for impoverished girls. This was the start of the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity. When her death came around, after her last rites: “At the last, she was learning on the arm of Mother Annetta, to whom, years before, when Annetta was just a girl, Magdalen had said: ‘One day you will be one of us and you will be there to help me when I die.'” And she was!
St. Maria once said: “Be happy…after having experiencing Mary’s help on so many occassions, how can you be worried or afraid?”