Sunday, November 7, 2010

St. Gebetrude (? to 675)

  "Maybe I just want to fly, I want to live, I don't want to die. Maybe I just want to breathe, maybe I just don't believe, maybe you're the same as me, we see things they'll never see, You and I are gonna live forever."              (from Live Forever by Noel Thomas Gallagher)

  Most people at one time or another think about what dying will be like. Will they be in pain? Will they know? And I've heard many a conversation where someone says they want to live forever. But, seriously, if you really could, would you want to? All your family and friends would be gone, you probably couldn't get around easily, and who knows what you'd look like.
  This week, the oldest person in the world died at age 114.  Eugenie Blanchard was a French nun who was born on the Caribbean island of St. Barthelemy (St. Barts) in February 1896.  For most of her life, Eugenie's home was in a convent in Curacao. Then, for the past 30 years, she lived in a hospital in St. Barts.
  I don't think I'd want to live in a hospital for three decades just to be alive. Reports say that she appeared in good health yet could not speak. I would be afraid to hear people's voices and not be able to respond.
  I dedicate today's post to the memory of Eugenie since Nov. 7 is the feast day of another French nun. St. Gebetrude was born in the late 6th/early 7th century in France. Little is known about her. St. Gebetrude lived in the Benedictine Abbey of Remiremont. She died in 675.  
  The painting above is called "A Nun," by Boris Kustodiev, 1901.

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