Minute Meditations

A Hidden Life of Prayer

“My joy is in leading a hidden life unknown to others.”—St. Euphrasia of the Sacred Heart

As early as 1904, Euphrasia wrote a detailed practice for praying with different legions of angels, starting at four in the morning and not concluding until very late in the evening. This was not theoretical to Euphrasia. When anger and worry—challenges that carried over from her childhood—threatened, she prayed. When she was tempted, she prayed. When her rheumatism or other health problems troubled her, she prayed. To express her devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and Mary, she prayed. Small wonder, then, that within the convent, she became known as Evuprasiamma, the praying mother. Her sisters would find her at prayer for ten to twelve hours a day, sitting in the chapel (she couldn’t kneel for that long) and sometimes holding a sixteen-inch crucifix. While Teresa of Calcutta was ministering to the street people of Calcutta 1,400 miles away, Euphrasia was praying. It’s pretty radical when you think about it, that for decades Euphrasia devoted so many hours to conversing with the Lord. Perhaps that’s why the little girl who was so sickly lived to age seventy-four—fifty-two of them spent as the praying nun.

— from Radical Saints: 21 Women for the 21st Century, by Melanie Rigney

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