Friday, 23 March 2018

# Saints

Saint Rafqa

St Rafka ill in bed in her latter days


The 23rd of March is the feast day of Saint Rafqa (June 29, 1832 – March 23, 1914), she is also known as Rafqa Pietra Choboq Ar-Rayès (رفقا بطرسيّة شبق ألريّس) and Saint Rebecca. She was a Lebanese Maronite nun canonised by Pope Saint John Paul II on June 10th, 2001. She is the patron saint of sick people, bodily ills and loss of parents.

Saint Rafqa was born in Himlaya in the Lebanese mountains. Her mother died when she was only 7 years old and she was the only child. Her father remarried and there was a discord to whom Rafqa should marry. She did not want to marry any of the men and entered the religious life when she was 21 years old. Through learning from her own mother, she had a great devotion to the Virgin Mary. She served as a teacher, and after witnessing and surviving a massacre of Christians, she became a cloistered contemplative nun in a monastery at the age of 39. She prayed that she may share Christ’s sufferings and she became blind and paralysed, struggling with deteriorating health and a large amount of pain. She united her sufferings to Christ, and di not complain. She wrote an autobiography at the end of her life, under the direction of her superior. At 82 years old she died and a lot of miracles are attributed to her.

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