A Saint for Canada

Blessed Dina Belanger died on this day in 1929, suffering from tuberculosis, brought on by the scarlet fever she contracted while tending a sick boy.  Dina was from a devout Quebec family, and her first calling was as a concert pianist, giving public performances in New York from 1918 to 1921, yet she also had privately consecrated herself to God from childhood.  Her upbringing was devout, but also normal:  She was attached to the Angelus prayer (and, as the Church well knows, it is to such apparently ‘little’ disciplines that a soul is disciplined and formed), but also to her ‘doll’, which she played with during sermons, which she found boring.  Hmm.  Dina also threw temper tantrums, but during one such episode, her father rose from the table and joined in; seeing her Dad act so ridiculously mortified her, and the tantrums were no more.  (I wonder if this would work today, when children are now so accustomed to their adults acting like children?)

Dina entered religious life in August of 1921, and the perfection she strove in music she brought to the convent, living her rule in exemplary fashion, as she was able in her constant illness; burdened with suffering, which she born with patience and heroism, she was also gifted with visions and ecstasies, before, like Saint Therese before her, succumbing to her lung disease eight years later.  Also like the ‘Little Flower’, her superiors asked her to write her own biography, comprising a beautiful and insightful spiritual testament.  She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1993, after a miraculous cure of a man with hydrocephalous, and Bd. Dina is now a heavenly intercessor and patron for the Church in Canada, which may yet become what it once was, and should be again.

Blessed Dina, ora pro nobis!

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