By Barbara Bartlein
From the time I was four years old, I announced to anyone who asked, “When
I grow up, I’m going to be a nurse.” My parents tried
to nurture this dream. They would surprise me with little nurse’s
kits. Contained in a small plastic case latched at the top was all
the equipment needed to be a nurse: a thermometer permanently marked
to 98.6, a pill bottle filled with candy (which would be gone in
two hours), a stethoscope that didn’t work and, best of all,
I loved that syringe. I would spend hours filling it up with water
and “injecting” my little sister. I would “inject”
the family dog and a very reluctant cat. No other single function
represented nursing to me as well as giving injections. To me, giving
shots was the epitome of what nurses do.
You can imagine my excitement, therefore, when we reached the part
of my nurses’ training where we learned injections. I studied
the techniques carefully and practiced on peaches. I practiced so
much that the fruit at my house had little water blisters all over
that looked like scabies. I participated in the “return demonstration”
with my fellow nursing students. I always claimed that my partner’s
injection was painless so that she would make a similar claim when
it was my turn.
The following week, I began my emergency room rotation at Penrose
Hospital in Colorado Springs. One day, a handsome, tanned construction
worker was admitted with a large laceration on his right arm. About
six feet, five inches tall, 250 pounds, he had huge muscles and
a grin to match. “I just sliced this a little with some sheet
metal, Ma’am,” he reported. He lay on the exam table
while the doctor sutured him with a dozen stitches. He listened
intently while the doctor gave instructions for wound care.
And then the magical moment occurred. The doctor turned to me and
said, “Nurse Bartlein, would you please give this gentleman
a tetanus shot?” My big chance! A real injection on a real
patient. I practically floated on air as I scrambled to the refrigerator
and took out the tetanus vaccine. I carefully drew up the prescribed
amount and returned to the patient. I meticulously swabbed the site
with an alcohol wipe and then expertly darted that needle deep into
the deltoid muscle. I aspirated as taught and slowly injected the
With a grin, the construction worker said, “Thank you, Ma’am”
and stood up. I winked at him, and he winked at me. He stood there
for a minute and promptly crumpled to the floor unconscious. Oh,
my God, I killed him! My first injection and I killed the patient.
My impulse was to run out the door as far into the mountains as
possible. Forget about being a nurse, forget about injections, I’ll
live off the land. No one will ever find me.
Everyone else came running and slowly helped the patient to his
feet. The doctor could see that I was quite shaken. He reassured
me with a smile and said, “Don’t worry, he’s fine.
The big ones always faint!”
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OF THE SAINTS
St. Felix II
St Felix II, the pope is an ancestor of the future Pope St. Gregory the Great who lived from 540 to 604.
Blessed Charles the Good
Count Charles of Flanders, was called "the good" by the people of his kingdom. They named him for what they found him to truly be.
Blessed Katharine Drexel
Blessed Katharine was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on November 26, 1858. Katharine's mother died when she was a baby.
St. Casimir was born in 1458, son of Casimir IV, king of Poland. Casimir was one of thirteen children.
St. John Joseph of the Cross
St. John Joseph of the Cross was born in southern Italy on the feast of the Assumption, 1654. He was a young noble, but he dressed like a poor man.
St. Nicolette was named in honor of St. Nicholas of Myra. She was born in 1380. Her loving parents nicknamed her Colette from the time she was a baby.
St. Perpetua and St. Felicity
St. Perpetua and St. Felicity lived in Carthage, North Africa, in the third century. It was the time of the fierce persecution of Christians by Emperor Septimus Severus.
St. John of God
St. John was born in Portugal on March 8, 1495. His parents were poor, but deeply Christian. John was a restless boy.
St. Frances of Rome
St. Frances was born in 1384. Her parents were wealthy, but they taught Frances to be concerned about people and to live a good Christian life.
St. Simplicius became pope in 468. Sometimes it seemed to him that he was all alone in trying to correct evils that were everywhere.
St. Eulogius of Spain
St. Eulogius lived in the ninth century. His family was well-known and he received an excellent education. While he learned his lessons, he also learned from the good example of his teachers.
St. Fina (Seraphina)
St. Fina was born in a little Italian town called San Geminiano. Her parents had once been well off, but misfortune had left them poor.
St. Euphrasia was born in the fifth century to deeply Christian parents. Her father, a relative of the emperor, died when she was a year old.
St. Matilda was born about 895, the daughter of a German count. When she was still quite young, her parents arranged her marriage to a nobleman named Henry.
St. Zachary was a Benedictine monk from Greece who lived in the eighth century. He became a cardinal and then pope.
Blessed Torello was born in 1202, in Poppi, Italy. His life as a child in the village was ordinary and uneventful. But after his father's death.
St. Patrick was believed born in fifth-century Britain to Roman parents. When he was sixteen, he was captured by pirates and taken to Ireland.
St. Cyril of Jerusalem
St. Cyril was born around 315 when a new phase was beginning for Christians. Before that date, the Church was persecuted by the emperors.
St. Joseph is a great saint. He was Jesus' foster-father and Mary's husband.
St. Cuthbert lived in England in the seventh century. He was a poor shepherd boy who loved to play games with his friends.
St. Serapion lived in Egypt in the fourth century. Those were exciting times for the Church and for St. Serapion.
St. Deogratias was ordained bishop of the City of Carthage when it was taken over by barbarian armies in 439.
St. Turibius of Mongrovejo
St. Turibius was born in 1538 in Leon, Spain. He became a university professor and then a famous judge.
Blessed Didacus Joseph was born on March 29, 1743, in Cadiz, Spain. He was baptized Joseph Francis.
ANNUNCIATION OF THE LORD
The time arrived for Jesus to come down from heaven. God sent the Archangel Gabriel to the town of Nazareth where Mary lived.
St. Ludger was born in northern Europe in the eighth century. After he had studied hard for many years, he was ordained a priest.
St. John of Egypt
St. John was man who desired to be alone with God was to become one of the most famous hermits of his time.
St. Tutilo lived in the late ninth and early tenth centuries. He was educated at the Benedictine monastery of Saint-Gall.
St. Jonas and St. Barachisius
King Sapor of Persia reigned in the fourth century. He hated Christians and persecuted them cruelly. He destroyed their churches and monasteries.
St. John Climacus
St. John was believed born in Palestine in the seventh century. He seems to have been a disciple of St. Gregory Nazianzen.
Blessed Joan of Toulouse
In 1240, some Carmelite brothers from Palestine started a monastery in Toulouse, France.
PHOTO OF THE MONTH
of the Relics of the Passion
for Holy Relics)
Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven,
submit himself to John’s baptism? John preached a
baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke
3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of
the “baptism” of Jesus bloody death upon the
cross. Jesus’ baptism is the acceptance and the beginning
of his mission as God’s suffering Servant (Isaiah
52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among
sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father’s
will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death
for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust
and submission to God?