Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Young Witness of Eucharistic Devotion (And I mean, VERY young!)

Happy Wednesday! And happy feast of St. Mary Magdalene! She's pretty cool. So, today I offer you another installment of the "Modern Sanctity" series. In this series, I look at modern examples of sanctity so that we can see how holiness is relevant and necessary in our present day! 

Today, I would like to discuss a very epic person. She's not canonized, but she provides a tremendously awesome example of striving for holiness...oh yeah, and she died when she was 4 1/2 years old. 

Cool Facts about Nellie Organ

  • Also known as "Little Nellie of Holy God," Nellie was born in Ireland in 1903. However, not too long after her birth, Nellie's mother became very ill with tuberculosis and ultimately died from it. Mr. Organ, in attempts to have his four children cared for, sent Nellie and her sister to live at a school run by the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. 
  • Nellie soon was inflicted with tuberculosis, and had many physical sufferings as a result. Yet, she responded to her sufferings by growing in devotion to God (she liked to call him "Holy God"). 
  • Nellie loved a little statue of the Infant of Prague, and would often place flowers before it. God was continually on her mind and heart, she she lived her life for Him. The first time that Nellie saw a monstrance with the Eucharist exposed, she exclaimed her joy and wonder at God's presence. 
  • Little Nellie was very devoted to the Eucharist. Yes, at the age of four, she had a deep clarity, childlike trust, and understanding that this is God. She often asked for permission to receive Holy Communion, because she understood the depth and beauty of this Eucharistic gift. 
  • Finally, the local bishop granted permission, and Nellie received her First Holy Communion on December 6, 1907. Her radiance, joy, and peace upon receiving Jesus was obvious to the religious sisters who were with her. 
  • Just weeks later, on February 2, 1908, Nellie died after a continued deterioration of health. 

Image from this website

Nellie Organ died when she was 4 1/2 years old. Yet, she had a more profound understanding of the Eucharist than a lot of adult Catholics out there. A childlike joy and trust in God is an incredible gift, a gift which Little Nellie exhibited in her life. Let us pray that we may grow in love and devotion to the Eucharist, and truly appreciate God's gift of Himself to us! 
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