Blessed Dina Bélanger
Feast Day is September 4
Blessed Dina Bélanger was born in Sillery, Québec, Canada on April 30, 1897. There are those who believe that there was a connection between the little Saint and the Little Flower of Lisieux, St. Thérèse, because Dina was born exactly five months before St. Thérèse died.
Also, during Dina’s time in the convent, she was given the Little Flower as a protectress by Our Lord Jesus. There are also many other similarities between the two Saints.
The church where she was baptized was not the church where the well-to-do people of the town worshiped. To the contrary, St. Roch’s was in the working man’s section.
She was born at ten before nine in the morning and baptized in the afternoon of the same day. She was named Marie (after our Lady), Dina (after her father’s mother), Marguerite (after St. Margaret Mary Alacoque).
Blessed Dina Belanger wrote of that time in her life, as she was given to see it in her heart:"It seems to me that, in the earliest moments of my life, God wrapped the protective cloak of the Blessed Virgin around me; my eyes first saw light on the eve of the month of Mary, a Friday, and that very evening the grace of Holy Baptism drove the devil out of my soul to let the Divine Spirit reign as its master."
Her father, Octave Bélanger, and mother, Séraphia Matte, were very spiritual people.They gave this child of God the solid Christian formation that she needed to open herself to the working of God in her life. Everything centered around their Faith, their morals, and their Christian behavior.
Dina’s mother Séraphia talked about her dreams for her child even before she was born.
From The Autobiography of Dina Belanger by Felecity Moody
On August 15, 1928, Dina Belanger made her perpetual vows in the Congregation of Jesus and Mary. What a great joy she felt as she became the spouse of Christ forever and was united for eternity with Him.
The following year Dina’s health started to decline very quickly. Because she could not write anymore, one of the sisters was always with her to take down the reflections and interior inspirations she received from Our Lord. They said that when they went to visit her in the infirmary, it was like walking into a sanctuary. Her love of suffering found goodness and delight in all the moments of her last days on earth. Although sometimes in excruciating pain, she continued to smile and her face was shining with happiness at being able to suffer for her Jesus.
"This general weakness, this sense of oppression, these violent spasms of pain... they are all a consummation of every moment (of my life)... I feel I am being torn to pieces and destroyed for Him... How good it is!..." As the end approached, she was fully conscious and joined in the prayers for the dying with the other sisters. At about three in the afternoon her breath slowed and she said, "I am suffocating." She left in the same position as St. Therese of Lisieux, almost sitting up in the bed with her gaze fixed on Heaven. Dina died September 4th, 1929, at the age of thirty-three years old.
Cardinal Rouleau, Archbishop of Quebec at that time, wrote to the Mother Superior after reading Dina’s autobiography. He said: "These pages, radiant with faith and divine love, reveal to us the increasingly profound working of Our Lord in the soul of his ‘little Bride’. To read and meditate on these writings can bring only profit, especially to souls consecrated to the Lord."
Indeed, in the life of Blessed Dina Belanger we can find an unfailing faith and hope in Jesus. She was beatified in Rome by Pope John Paul II on March 20th, 1993. Let us follow her example during these troubled times, when evil grips our world and abandon ourselves to God’s loving and merciful care. May God bless you!
Marie Anne Jacques