So many ask our prayers- illnesses of all kinds, family troubles, etc - so I am always on the look out for new saints that can intercede for those in dire straits. One I had never heard of is ST. ALICE OF SCHAERBEEK (
or ALEYDIS). ADELAIDE
She was born at Schaerbeek, near Brussels, then in the Duchy of Brabant, in 1204. A frail child, at the age of seven, she was sent to be boarded and educated at the Cistercian La Cambre Abbey, where she remained for the rest of her life. The name of the abbey is derived from the Latin: Camera Sanctae Mariae (Chamber of Our Lady).
Eventually she became paralyzed and afflicted with blindness. Her greatest consolation came from reception of the Holy Eucharist, although she was not allowed to drink from the chalice because of the presumed danger of contamination. However, it is said that the Lord appeared to her with assurance that He was in both the consecrated bread and the wine. She died in 1250, at the age of 46.
By decree of July 1, 1702 Pope Clement XI granted to the monks of the Congregation of St. Bernard Fuliensi the faculty to celebrate the cultus of
to Alice as a
saint was approved in 1907 by Pope Pius X. Alice
Thomas Merton wrote that the life of St Alice should be placed in the hands of every monk. He presented her as the perfect illustration of Chapter Seven of the Rule of Saint Benedict, "On the Degrees of Humility".
Father Chrysogonus Waddell (another monk of Gethsemani) ranked her with Sts. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and Elizabeth of Trinity. He saw her as the icon of that particular stream of Cistercian spirituality that expresses Jesus crucified.
There is much sickness and related suffering in our world today. We pray that like St. Alice, we to turn our suffering into good, praying that the Lord in His Mercy will give us the strength to endure and that we know the consolation found in His Body.