October 19, 2012. (Romereports.com)
Anna Schäffer managed to lead a life that inspired people far beyond her native Germany. What's surprising is that she did so, for over 20 years, even though she was bed ridden.
At the age of 19, she slipped into boiling lye, which left both her legs severely damaged. Over time, her injuries got worse. Her legs became paralyzed, she was diagnosed with cancer and eventually suffered a brain injury. Even so, her faith in God grew stronger. It's said she developed stigmata, after having visions of St. Francis and of Jesus.
Through her sickness, she received Communion every day and offered her suffering and pain to God. As word of her devotion spread, she would write letters to console those who turned to her for advice and inspiration. Through her pain and poverty, she did so year after year.
She died in her early 40's, on October 5th, 1925.
But on Sunday, her message will come alive again, when Benedict XVI declares her a saint.