1/22 St Joan de Lestonnac

Today, January 22, we celebrate the life and works of St Joan de Lestonnac, Patron of abuse victims, people rejected by religious orders, widows. Born in Bordeaux, France, she married a wonderful man at the age of seventeen. They had four beautiful children before he suddenly died. She didn’t falter in her duties to her children and ensured that they were all raised and found a productive life. It was only then that she entered into the Cistercian monastery at Toulouse. However, that moment was short lived because her health began to decline. This caused her to leave the monastery, but she had every intention of continuing her work for God.

Returning to Bordeaux, she had a few other girls join her as novices. Together they worked to help the victims of the plague that struck the area at the time. They didn’t worry about their own health, but focused on what was important at the time. They also spent their time fighting against heresy that was trying to filter its way through the land. In the end, they received their habit from the Archbishop of Bordeaux and the Congregation of the Religious of Notre Dame of Bordeaux was born.

God Bless her and may we also not let one door closing be the end of the journey we have been set on.

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