June 15th - St. Alice (Aleydis)

June 15th - St. Alice (Aleydis)

(Died 1250 A.D.)
The life of St. Aleydis (Alice) is so simple and charming that it might
have come from the pen of a devout writer of fiction. Nonetheless, hers is a
real story, recorded probably by her spiritual director.
Born in Schaerbeck, a suburb of Brussels, Belgium, Aleydis was a frail
child but had a winning personality. When she was seven (at her own request, it
seems) she was sent to be boarded and raised by the Cistercian nuns of a
vicinity convent named "Camera Sanctae Marie" ("Chamber of St. Mary"). Although
the monastery is long since gone, its name is still preserved in the lovely park
southeast of Brussels called "Bois de la Chambre" ("Chamber Woods").
From the day she went there, the convent became her permanent home. The
sisters educated her not only intellectually, but spiritually, and she proved a
good student in both aspects. In due time, she asked to be admitted to the
Cistercians. The quiet seclusion of the monastery was well suited to her
naturally shy, retiring disposition. Yet her very humility motivated her to
serve the needs of her sisters in every way possible. They, in turn, admired her
piety, and treasured the memory of the small miracles attributed to her. One of
these was the re-lighting of a candle. Once a lighted candle fell to the ground
and went out. Through her prayerful intervention, it is said, the candle
spontaneously relit itself.
Leprosy was fairly widespread in medieval Europe. Unfortunately, Sister
Aleydis contracted this hideous disease while still young. To the grief of the
rest of the nuns she had to be isolated from the community. Medieval science had
not yet discovered that leprosy was caused by the communicable germ mycobacillus
leprae: but experience had long since proved it to be contagious, and prescribed
quarantine to prevent its spread.
Aleydis, herself, even welcomed segregation in that it enabled her to
plunge with still less interruption into her favorite subject of contemplation,
the sufferings of Jesus. Where it hurt most, however, was that hygiene forbade
her to receive from the chalice (still a general practice, in that time) when
she went to Holy Communion.
Our Lord himself, we are told, consoled her by stating that one who
communicated in the consecrated bread alone still received the blood as well as
the body of Jesus, for "Where there is part, there also is the whole."
On June 11, 1249, Sister Alice became very ill indeed, and was anointed. It
was soon revealed to her that she had 12 months more on earth.
Her sufferings increased during those last months. She became blind,
perhaps as a result of the ravages of leprosy. But she lost no opportunity to
offer her additional sufferings for the souls in purgatory. Despite her pains,
she was comforted by still more ecstasies and revelations. On June 10, 1250, she
was again anointed, and in the dawn of St. Bamabas' Day, as predicted, she went
to her reward.
Today, Holy Communion under both forms is again available, but Jesus'
answer to St. Aleydis is still valid: when we receive the Host alone we receive
sacramentally the whole Christ, body and blood. Today, also, the offering of
prayers and sacrifices for the poor souls seems to have declined. St. Alice's
prayers and sacrifices for them were nevertheless perfectly in keeping with the
doctrine of sharing that the Church has always taught, between the faithful on
earth, in heaven and in purgatory, that "waiting room" of heaven.
We call this bond the Communion of Saints.
Canonized: 1907 by Pope Pius X

This Version Taken From:

Let us learn from Jesus in the manger, to hold the things of the world in such
esteem as they deserve.
-St. Francis de Sales

Bible Quote
8 He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the
cross. 9 For which cause God also hath exalted him, and hath given him a name
which is above all names: 10 That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of
those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth: (Philippians 2:8-10)

O Omnium Domine (O Lord of All), a prayer of St. Gregory
Nazianzen; (329-389), Bishop and Doctor of the Church:

O Lord and Creator of all, and especially of this Thy
creature! O God and Father and Ruler of Thy people! O
Arbiter of life and death! O Guardian and Benefactor of our

O Thou who makest all, and in due season transformest all
by the power of Thy Word according to Thy wisdom and
deep designs, receive now, I beg Thee, those who have gone
before us.

Receive us too at the opportune time, until Thou hast
restrained us in our fleshly life for as long as it will have
been to our advantage. Indeed receive us prepared by fear of
Thee and not troubled, nor turning back on that day of
death, nor unwilling like those who are accustomed to the
world and addicted to the flesh. Instead, may we set out
eagerly for that everlasting and blessed life which is in
Christ Jesus our Lord. To Him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.