Saint of the Day – Blessed Christina of Stommeln (1242–1312) – Religious nun, Stigmatist, Mystic – also known as Christina Bruso and Christina Bruzo.
Christina is believed to have been born on 24 July 1242, to farmers Heinrich and Hilla Bruso in the village of Stumbeln (now Stommeln), northwest of Cologne. At the age of five, she began to experience religious visions. When she was twelve her parents wished to arrange her marriage but she left home without their permission and joined a + Beguine community in Cologne. At the age of fifteen, in 1268, she manifested stigmata on her hands, feet and head. The wounds reappeared throughout her life each Easter Sunday.
This, combined with other mystic experiences and demonic attacks, convinced others in the community that she was insane and she was treated with contempt, leading her to return to her home village in 1267, there she came under the direction of the local pastor, a priest named Johannes.
While in his care, Christina met Peter of Dacia, a Dominican, who became a lifelong friend. Following Peter’s death in 1288, Christine’s mystic experiences ceased. She left the priest’s household and moved into a small cloister, where she lived a quiet life until her death at the age of 70 on 6 November 1312. She was first buried in the Stommeln churchyar, but her remains have been moved several times – first into the church, then in 1342 to Nideggen and finally in 1569 to the Propsteikirche (Provost’s Church) in Jülich, where a monument to Christine still exists. Her relics survived the destruction of the Provost’s Church during the Allies’ air raid on Jülich on 16 November 1944.
St Pope Pius X Beatified her on 8 November 1908 and her liturgical feast was affixed to the date of her death.
+The Beguines were women who lived in semi-monastic communities in Northern Europe between the 13th and 16th centuries. While their members did not take formal religious vows, they dedicated their lives to poverty, care for the poor and sick and to religious devotions. Their lifestyle was directly influenced by a spiritual revival of the period that has come to be known as the Devotio Moderna.