F THE WEEK
SIBYLLINA BISCOSSI : d. 1367. (March 23). I deliberately choose Saints that almost none will have heard of since God is continuously weaving the marvellous history of the Church, and no thread in it, golden or grey, should he left unvenerated. Sibylline was born in Pavia; her parents died early, and the humble child before she was ten had to earn her survival as servant-maid.
But when she was 12 she went blind and became " useless. " Some kind Dominican tertiaries harboured her. She prayed hard to get better; but in a dream she felt St. Dominic leading her through a pitch-dark passage full of evil beings that terrified her. (To be terrified may be a rare experience, but it probes very deep into the soul; Our Lord endured it in Gethsemane 7 coepit pavere).
At long last she saw some light. but very far off, and understood she must remain blind to the end. She then led a solitary life for 65 years, though people thronged to her cell to ask for counsel. Despite great austerities she lived till she was 80.
We pray that all may know of and help the Catholic Blind Institute, e59, Brunswick Road. Liverpool 6, founded in 1841, and St. Vincent's School for the Blind and Partially-Sighted, Yew Tree Lane, West Derby, Liverpool 1.2; and help the Braille section of the C.T.S. And what more encouraging and lovely than the U.S.A. Lavelle Institute for blind children? So much to be done, and so little means, time and strength for doing it !
C.C. Martindale. S.J.