NOTICE: I am a practicing Catholic, active and in good-standing with my local diocese, who professes faith and loyalty to the Church. This ministry - my "little work" - is strictly a personal expression of that faith and loyalty, and not an officially recognized ministry in the Diocese of Honolulu.

~ Peter, Ministry Administrator

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Saint of the Month - February 2021: Anne de Guigne


Ven. Anne de Guigne
Transformed by God's Grace

If you ever questioned whether you could reach a measure of sanctity in your personal life, just keep reading - Anne de Guigne died at the young age of 10-years-old and, yet, she's up for Sainthood... and she didn't start off being a Saint - she was a veritable tyrant of a child, based on what several biographies commonly say.  So who was this Anne and what made her "venerable"?

Anne de Guigne was born on April 25, 1911; the oldest of four children granted to a French count and soldier named Jacques de Guigne and his wife, Antoinette. Up to age four she was described as strong-willed and self-centered, which only grew worse as her siblings arrived one by one. She was simply terrible, at times, and one particular incident gives us a good example of just how bad she could be, prior to her "conversion" - during a temper tantrum triggered by a fit of jealousy over her one and only brother, Anne threw dirt in the toddler's eyes, which must have been extremely painful for the boy!  That's how rotten she was.

But, thankfully, Anne changed... and it happened after the tragic death of her beloved father who was killed in July 2015 during a war between France and Germany. Madame de Guigne was naturally devastated when she got word of her husband's passing and, when Anne attempted to comfort her mother, Antoinette reportedly told the little girl, "If you want to comfort me, you must be good.”  From that moment on, Anne resolved to be a model daughter to her grieving mom.

De Guigne Family
Little Anne de Guigne (upper-right),
with her brother and sisters.

Anne's transformation was like night and day; almost over night the wolf became a docile lamb... and everyone who knew her noticed it. Not only did her temperament reform but so did her soul. The youngster suddenly exhibited a marked interest in spirituality and began in earnest to please both her mother and Jesus, too!

When the 5-year-old Anne expressed to her mother a desire to make her First Holy Communion, Madame de Guigne immediately enrolled her in catechism classes at a nearby convent. There, the highly precocious child eagerly absorbed what was taught her by the nuns. She advanced with uncommon speed in love of God, love of neighbor, and in personal virtue... and, it appears the Holy Spirit was working in a special way in the girl, as evidenced by some of her recorded sayings:

  • When Anne's grandfather asked her what wheat Hosts become, she replied: "Little Jesus comes and hides Himself in the white Hosts, which become Jesus."
  • To a priest who asked Anne where the Holy Spirit lived, her response was: "In the souls of the Just."
  • Prior to her First Holy Communion, the priest examining Anne asked her, "When does Jesus obey?" to which she gave this remarkable reply: "At Mass... He obeys the priest when he says: ‘This is My Body, this is My Blood.’"

Anne celebrated her First Communion on March 26, 2017 - a month shy of her 6th birthday - and notes she jotted down after the event further speak of the profound depth of her spiritual growth in spite of her young age.  For example:

  • "I will give my sacrifices to Mary, so that She may give them to Jesus."
  • "My Jesus, I love You and to please You, I resolve to obey You always."
  • "My soul is destined for Heaven. People are very preoccupied with their outward appearance and hardly at all with the soul... My soul was made for eternal life, to be infinitely happy or infinitely unhappy.  The good Lord wants it to be eternally happy.  That depends on me alone."

One can also sense in some of Anne's words that she possessed a solid comprehension of self-sacrifice.  She actually developed childhood rheumatism, which caused chronic inflammatory pain in her joints, but she accepted the discomfort without complaint.  Rather, when one of her nun-teachers once asked her what brought her joy, Anne said, "My greatest happiness is to suffer much for our gracious God."

A relic of Anne's clothing, gifted to this
author by French promoters of her Cause.

Furthermore, Anne's love for God motivated in her a desire to not just become saintly for the sake of her own soul, but she also offered many prayers and sacrifices for the conversion of sinners, too... and displayed affection and generosity towards the sick and the needy in an effort to draw them to God.

Now don't think that all of Anne's spiritual progress came easily to her because it didn't - in the beginning she had to fight hard against her selfish inclinations. There were many times she had to bite down on her tongue or clench her fist in silence in order to hold back one of her infamous tantrums... but consistent practice makes perfect and, through sheer will-power coupled with faith, Anne ultimately succeeded in overcoming the worse of her personality traits.

Towards the end of December 1921, Anne suffered from excruciating headaches, which was diagnosed as being due to Meningitis.  She was taken to bed and lapsed in and out of consciousness.  She was never heard to complain when she was  lucid but rather she stated peacefully: "I wish to offer my sufferings as Jesus did on the Cross."

Anne died on the morning of January 14, 1922. Shortly before her passing, she fixed her gaze at a spot in the room and asked the nun attending her, "Sister, may I go with the angels?" After the nun replied in the affirmative, Anne responded joyfully, "Thank you, Sister.  Oh, thank you."

Anne de Guigne
Anne de Guigne, pray for us!

Presently, Anne is a Venerable in the Church and awaits a verified miracle worked through her intercession to be declared a Blessed; a second miracle could make her a Saint.  Her body was also discovered miraculously incorrupt during an exhumation conducted in October 1922.  Let us pray for Anne de Guigne's speedy Canonization.  The world - especially our youth - needs her faith-example.

Anne's Hymn to Mary

Lend Him to me, O Mary,
my dear Mother... lend me your
Son, if only for a second.  Place
Him in my humble arms.  Allow me,
Mary, tkiss the feet of your dear
Son who has given me so many
graces.  How desire, Mary, to
receive your Son in my arms,
give Him to me, give Him to me!
How happy am now for I
have Him with me!

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