Herman the Cripple is the saint that I chose for confirmation. The reason I picked him is that he was born with cerebral palsy, cleft palate and spina bifida. He also couldn't walk or talk very well. But Herman was very intelligent. He knew Arabic, Latin, and Greek but nobody could understand him because of his trouble speaking. I connected to Saint Herman because I also have cerebral palsy and spina bifida. He had to deal with his struggles and he stayed faithful with God. Sometimes it is hard for me to not doubt myself and to stay faithful and to live through certain things. And I think that many other people in the world struggle with that nowadays too.
Herman was born in 1013 in Altshausen, Germany to a farm family. His parents cared for him until he grew to the age of seven. But, back then if you were disabled, the parents didn't really know how to take care of them and it was a daily challenge. I think that I am pretty blessed to live in this time period to have the parents and blessings that I do have. His parents placed him in an abbey in Reichenau, Germany to be cared for by the Benedictine monks. This is where he eventually became a benedictine monk himself at the age of twenty. Although he was bedridden and had a speech impediment that made him nearly impossible to understand, he had enormous intellect. He was a scholar, mathmatician, astronomer, composer, writer and a historian. He built astronomy equipment, and musical instruments, most likely the same way my dad builds things for me so I can use them in a different way. Saint Herman was the most famous religious poet in his day within the Catholic Church. He is the author of "Salve Regina" (which is the Hail, Holy Queen and recited at the end of the rosary) and "Alma Redemptoris Meter". I think these were the most important reasons why he was canonized a saint. But, later in his life he became blind and had to give up his writing. I'm sure this was very difficult for him since writing was his only way of communicating. This would most likely be a struggle for me as well since I have a blog to help convey what's going on in my head.
After reading about Herman the Cripple, I felt very connected to him because he was able to do so much in his short disabled life that it seems overwhelming to me and gives me hope. He did not limit himself due to his cripple body. Maybe I can find something in my own life in a meaningful way to give back. Right now I still struggle to think about what I could do to help others. I'm hoping God will speak to me and guide me in the right direction.
Although Herman's body was a wreck, his spirit was full of Love for God. Sometimes, the more challenges God gives us, the closer it brings us to Him. I'm very lucky in that way. My parents always say, I will go straight to heaven because I'm so close to Him... not so much for my little sister. Blessed Herman was called a "wonder of his age". He died at the age of 41 in the Reichenau, Germany abbey. He was known as a "Saint for the Unborn Child" and "Saint for the Disabled". He was beatified in 1863 and feast day is on September 25th.
In closing, I came across this poem that someone wrote about him that kinda spoke to me as well...
I am least among the low, I am weak and I am slow; I can neither walk nor stand, Nor hold a spoon in my own hand.
Like a body bound in chain, I am on a rack of pain; But He is God that made me so, that his mercy I should show.
Brothers do not weep for me! Christ, the Lord, has set me free. All my sorrows he will bless; Pain is not unhappiness.
From my window I look down, To the streets of yonder town. Where the people come and go, Reap the harvest that they sow.
Like a field of wheat and tares, some are lost in worldly cares; There are hearts as black as coal, There are cripples of the soul.
Brothers do not weep for me! In his mercy, I am free. I can neither sow nor spin, Yet, i am fed and clothed in him.
I have been the donkeys tail, Slower than a slug or snail; You my brothers have been kind, Never let me lag behind.
I have been most rich in friends, You have been my feet and hands; All the good that I can do, I have done because of you.
Oh my brothers, can't you see? You have been as Christ for me. And in my need, I know too, Have become a Christ for you!
I have lived for forty one years, In this wilderness of tears; But these trials can't compare, with the glory we will share.
I have had a voice to sing, To rejoice in everything; Now loves sweet eternal song, Breaks the darkness with the dawn.
Brothers do not weep for me! Christ, the Lord, has set me free. Oh my friends, remember this; Pain is not unhappiness.
My name is Cameron Broyles, I'm 16 years old and I started my blog 5 years ago when I was 11. I have paraplegic cerebral palsy and cannot communicate in a traditional fashion. I am home-schooled now but I used to go to main stream public school. My love of exploring first began with going on field trips to learn about history. I play power soccer and it's become my sport of choice! I am originally from Texas but now I live in Colorado and LOVE it! I love to travel and explore but the majority of times it is much more difficult than the average person. I want this blog to not only be my mouthpiece for my friends and family but also give some ideas and maybe light a spark for other people with disabilities to get out and explore life! I was first coerced into starting a blog from my mom and dad and I have to admit that sometimes it's not my favorite thing to do but what I love most about having a blog for these past 5 years is that it's a daily reminder of all my blessings from God and how grateful and thankful I am for everything I have in my life.