09/04/2022 – Blessed Dina Belanger
The Rosary was the mainstay of Blessed Dina Belanger, today’s saint, from her childhood in Quebec until her death.
Dina felt the call of a religious vocation but because of family and educational obligations she could not enter yet. At 16 years Dina had to go live in the big city of New York.
To guard her heart which she had already given to Jesus she “drew up a rule of life for herself: morning and evening prayers, daily Mass and Communion, Rosary; at least ten minutes of meditation in the morning, and weekly confession. She also included her duties towards her neighbour and herself. In addition, she examined her conscience each night.”
Returning home at nineteen, she experienced a “dark night” in her soul, and to survive this ordeal she again turned to the Rosary.When at last she received the religious habit, Dina wrote ‘I was a Religious of Jesus and Mary! On my breast, the cross; at my waist, the blessed Rosary. I now belonged forever to that institution which I cherished as the hand that led me to this blessed sanctuary of peace and love.
O Jesus, make me worthy of the title I bear. Help me to pay the debt of gratitude…..fashion my soul Yourself, according to the spirit of ‘Jesus-Marie’,…. Act in me with Your sweet Mother to the praise of these Sacred Names.’ After only six years, in the weeks before her death, one of the Sisters would always come and pray the Rosary by Dina’s bedside. This caused the dying nun to say one day, ‘Holy Communion is my bread, the Rosary, my dessert!'”
As she lay dying, nuns “were saying the Rosary aloud by her bedside. (Dina followed the prayer and) moved her lips in response. At the fifth decade, the recitation was interrupted so as not to tire her; but the dying nun raised her beads at eye level beseechingly as though requesting the continuation of the prayers.”