In 1897 Dina Belanger was born to parents Olivier and Seraphia Belanger month of April. Dina's parents were both very devout and taught their young family from a very young age the importance of their Faith and of pleasing Jesus. Dina from a very young age showed herself to be extraordinarily gifted when it came to music but Dina was also a precocious child given to tantrums with a very strong will. But her loving parents were able to harness this determination and guide their beloved daughter to look beyond herself and focus her attention on pleasing God, rather than herself. But tragedy was also to strike the Belanger home when Dina's baby brother was to die at only a few months old, this brought much heartache to Olivier and Seraphia.
To cope with their loss, Seraphia threw herself into charitable works and was often accompanied by her daughter Dina, as she visited the sick and destitute bringing with her much needed food and compassion. But Dina was a handful and in an effort to cure their volatile daughter of her temper tantrums, both parents would often mimic Dina, thus making her feel ashamed of her bad behavior.
But it was one night when the young Dina dreamt of being visited by Jesus, this dream would impact on Dina's life as it seemed most real to her. But trouble was to once again pursue this devout family, when like many others of that time, a financial crisis hit the family, and both her parents were distraught at having lost all their life savings.
But due to her gift for music both Olivier and Seraphia sent their daughter to New York, where after completing her studies she planned on becoming a concert pianist. But the course of Dina's life was to take her in another direction, and upon returning home she decided to enter the Congregation of Jesus and Mary at Sillery and took her final vows in 1923. Upon taking her Vows she would then be known as Sister Marie Sainte Cecile, and to Dina was given the task of teaching the pupil’s music.
But deep within Dina lay the heart of a mystic with a deep and abiding love of God and prayer, which would underlay her Religious profession as she drew closer to our Lord and Savior. Though Dina led a humble life, still she suffered illness but offered up this pain with meekness and for the suffering of others.Dina Belanger though a Mystic, led a very hidden life and it is through her diaries that one gains a deep insight into the workings of God upon a soul in order to perfect it, as Dina was perfected into the Divine Will. So that no longer she lived but Christ lived within her.
Dina Receives the invisible Stigmata -
At the start of 1927 Mother Ste-Cecile's health grew worse and she had to return to the infirmary in Sillery. On February 2 a great temptation assailed her not to tell everything that was going on interiorly. Only her spirit of fidelity and obedience enabled her to overcome this, and to write of the following grace. These are her words:
On January 22, 1927, a Saturday and the Feast of Our Lady of Fourviere [the Patroness of Lyon, France, the birthplace of St. Claudine Thevenet, the Foundress of the Congregation of Jesus and Mary], we had a closing ceremony of the Forty Hours Adoration. During my meditation before the Blessed Sacrament exposed I suddenly felt myself enveloped in profound peace. I was already conscious of the Presence of my Divine Master, but this was something more than the ordinary union of Thursdays and Fridays. [sharing in the 'chalice' of His suferings].
I felt that Our Lord was granting me a great favor: the Stigmata of His Sacred Wounds. From His Divine Heart flames radiated on the feet, hands, and heart of my annihilated being. The Blessed Virgin applied these flames to my hands and feet, and Jesus imprinted on them the Stigmata of love of His Sacred Wounds. He was granting me one of my most cherished desires, but He astonished me by granting it at this moment when I was not expecting [it] and in this manner which I could never have imagined.'
The Stigmata remained invisible as she wished. No one could see them. But after her death, the infirmarians testified before the Beatification Process that they noticed an expression of pain on Mother Ste-Cecile's face when her hands and feet were rubbed. Mother St. Elizabeth stated that the feet became so sensitive that it was impossible to rub them as before-the pain was too severe.
Her deep love and devotion to our Lord and Blessed Mother was an inspiration to all she met and Dina was to instil in many the love she found in God and how much God can work within a soul to transform it.
Dina Belanger died in 1929 at the age of 32 of tuberculosis of the lungs. Dina was Beatified in 1993 by Pope John Paul ll.
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