Joan of Valois, 1464 - 1505, was the second daughter of Louis X1, King of France, and Charlotte of Savoy, She was born on April 23, 1464. At the ge of two months she was betrothed to Louis, Duke of Orleans, and the marriage took place in 1476. There is no doubt that it was invalid, for Louis of Orleans married her in fear of his life if he did not comply with the king's orders to do so. Joan was by no means a prepossessing figure: she was hunch-backed, lame and pock-marked. On her husband's succession to the throne he obtained a declaration that the marriage was invalid. Joan, therefore, was not to be queen of France; she was given instread the title of Duchess of Berry. If so it is to be, praised be the Lord, was her remark on this occasion. And there, really is the basis of her holiness and the spiritual testament that she left in the Order of the Annunciation that she founded; by her choice of name for her nuns she emphasised the parallel between our Lady's *Be it done to me and her own If so it is to be. All her life she met with oppostion and countrered it with such gentle words these. There were difficulties without number. The pope seemed unwilling to give his approval, though Louis X11 approved readily enough, thinking perhaps that Joan, bound by vows, would be less likely to upset the verdict given in the suit of nullity; his fears were groundless, and in any case directly after the verdict he had married Anne of Brittany. There were difficulties arising from Joan's character; she was inclined to be autocratic with her nuns, impatient at their slow progress. The foundation was made at Bouges, and the remains of the house may still be seen there Joan died at the age of 41 on February 4, 1505. St. Joan was canonised in 1950. Her feast day is February 4 the day on which she died.
Servite cardinal and preacher. Born in Florence, Italy, to a noble family, he was educated in Paris and Padua where he earned a doctorate in medicine and philosophy. He practiced medicine for some ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Empress mother of Constantine the Great. She was a native of Bithynia, who married the then Roman general Constantius I Chlorus about 270. Constantine was born soon after, and in 293, Constantius was made Caesar, or junior emperor. He divorced Helena to marry co ... continue readingMore Female Saints
St. Michael the Archangel - Feast day - September 29th The name Michael signifies "Who is like to God?" and was the warcry of the good angels in the battle fought in heaven against satan and his followers. Holy Scripture describes St. Michael as "one of the chief ... continue reading
The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the ... continue reading
FRANCIS XAVIER, ST. (1506-1552). Born in the family castle of Xavier, near Pamplona in the Basque area of Spanish Navarre on Apr. 7, he was sent to the University of Paris 1525, secured his ... continue reading
By Deacon F.K. Bartels
It is true that the creature loves less because she is less. But if she loves with her whole being, nothing is lacking where everything is given. To love so ardently then is to share the marriage bond; she cannot love so much and not be totally loved, and it is in the ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes