by Patricia Mathson
Person of Courage
Feast Day: October 5
[CLICK HERE] for a Saint Page about St. Anna Schäffer that your learners can take home to share with their families.
Anna was a woman of faith in God. She did not give up even when life was difficult. The example of her life shows us what true courage is all about. She helped others despite great suffering in her own life.
A Good Student
Anna was born in 1882. She lived in Germany with her family. She was a good student. Later she worked as a servant. She wanted to join a missionary order but that was not to be. One day in 1901, she was involved in a terrible accident at work. While trying to fix a broken stovepipe, she slipped and fell.
Anna’s legs were badly burned and doctors were unable to make her legs strong again. Anna became bedridden. Although Anna was not able to walk or even leave the house, she did not turn into a bitter person. She would never have the life she planned, but she trusted in God.
From her bed, Anna did what she could to help others. She wrote letters to the people who asked for her advice and prayers. She embroidered altar cloths for churches. At night, when she couldn’t sleep, she prayed for others. She looked beyond her needs to the needs of other people. Anna Schäffer was canonized a saint in 2012.
What Can We Do?
PWe can talk about the life of St. Anna Schäffer. How did she do at school? What did she want to do when she grew up? What tragedy happened to her? How did she help others from her bed? Why is she an example of courage? How can we be like St. Anna Schäffer?
PWe can make posters about trust in God. (Use a colorful marker to write on a piece of paper the words to Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart.” Use your imagination to decorate the edges of the paper to create a frame for the verse. Take the poster home and display it for all to see.)
PWe can be like St. Anna Schäffer by not complaining when things don’t go our way. We can help others instead of thinking about what we want. We can listen when others need to talk. We can pray for the needs of others.
Loving God, help us to trust in you the way St. Anna Schäffer did. Help us to be people of faith who look beyond our own needs to the needs of others. Guide us to serve others in your name. Amen.
Patricia Mathson has many years of experience in faith formation as a DRE. She holds a Master of Religious Education degree from the University of Dallas and currently is the children’s ministry coordinator at a family shelter in Des Moines, IA. Patricia is the author of many books including Prayers and Activities on Service (Twenty-Third Publications).
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