Saint Joan de Lestonnac (d.1640)

for February 2

Saint Joan de Lestonnac was born in Bordeaux, France, in 1556. She was happily married with four children, until her husband tragically passed away. After his passing, Joan singlehandedly ran her home and estate. When her children were grown and established, she entered religious life. She eventually established her own religious community, and she and her sisters ministered to plague victims, assisted the poor, and combated the heresy of Calvinism. However, one of her fellow nuns decided to conspire against her, resulting in her election as superior and Joan's removal. The new superior maliciously mistreated Joan, but Joan stood strong and did not retaliate with anger. Eventually, the cruel nun repented, but Joan no longer wanted to be reinstated as superior. She acted as a retired member of her order for the rest of her life. Saint Joan de Lestonnac was canonized in 1949, and is the patron saint of abuse victims, people rejected by religious orders, and widows.

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Saint Joan de Lestonnac suffered a very tragic event in her life when her husband passed away. Instead of showering her grief and unhappiness on those around her, Joan cared for her children, ran her estate, and eventually entered into religious life. When you experience a tragedy in your life, do you take your sorrows and anger out on everyone around you, or do you concentrate on the blessings that God has given you, and inspire others?


Dear God, when life is not going my way, I want other people to make it right again. I sometimes choose to shower my unhappiness on whomever I meet. Help me to concentrate on your blessings this day so that I can be an inspiration to others and reflect my faith in you. (Taken from “Good News Day by Day: Bible Reflections for Teens.”)