Foundress of the Sisters of St. Anne of Providence (1666-1736)
+ Jeanne was born in Saumur, France. As a child, she tended to be selfish and petulant, thinking only of herself and her own needs.
+ At the age of twenty-five, she took over a small religious goods stores that her mother managed. Although she spent her days serving pilgrims visiting a local Marian shrine, Jeanne seems to have only be interested in profit margins rather than Christian hospitality.
+ On Pentecost Sunday in 1693, Jeanne encountered a poor widow who predicted that she would eventually dedicate her life to the poor. This proved true, as Jeanne gradually experienced a deep conversion, closed her business, and began to care for orphans.
+ In time, a group of woman gathered around Jeanne and she formed a new religious community: the Sisters of St. Anne of Providence of Saumur.
+ Jeanne dedicated the remainder of her life to the poor and to her religious sisters. She died on August 17, 1736, and was canonized in 1982.
For prayer and reflection
“In the evening of life I shall be judged by love.”—Saint John of the Cross
O God, who have taught your Church to keep all the heavenly commandments by love of you as God and love of neighbor; grant that, practicing the works of charity after the example of blessed Jeanne, we may be worthy to be numbered among the blessed in your Kingdom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Holy Men and Women—For Those Who Practiced Works of Mercy)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.