St. Jeanne Jugan
Author and Publisher - Catholic Online
St. Jeanne Jugan, also known as Sister Mary of the Cross, L.S.P. was born on October 25, 1792 in the French region of Brittany during the French Revolution.
Jeanne grew up as the sixth of eight children to Joseph and Marie Jugan surrounded by a lot of religious and political upheavals. Her father became lost at sea when Jeanne was just four-years-old, and her mother struggled to provide for all the Jugan children.
Her mother worked diligently to make sure her children had everything they needed, including secret religious instruction when anti-Catholic persecutions were taking place.
From a young age, Jeanne learned to knit and spin wool and became a shepherdess. Barely able to read or write, Jeanne took a job as a kitchen maid for a noble family when she was 16.
Jeanne accompanied the Viscountess de la Choue when she visited the poor and the sick. As she matured, Jeanne began finding her passion in working with these people and turned down multiple marriage proposals. She told her mother God had other plans for her.
At 25, Jeanne became an Associate of the Congregation of Jesus and Mary, which was founded by St. John Eudes. She spent her time praying and working as a nurse in the town hospital. She stayed at the hospital for many years until her own health issues prevented her from performing her physically demanding tasks.
After leaving her job at the hospital, Jeanne became the servant of a member of the Eudist Third Order for 12 years. While working as a servant, Jeanne and her master found the same Catholic faith in each other and set out to begin teaching catechism to the town's children and caring for the poor.
In 1837, Jeanna and Francoise Aubert rented part of a small cottage and were joined by a 17-year-old orphan, Virgine Tredaniel. Together, they formed a small community of prayer devoted to helping the poor and teaching the catechism.
Two years later, Jeanne was approached by an elderly, blind and partially paralyzed woman named Anne Chauvin. With no one there for the woman, Jeanne carried her to her apartment and took it upon herself to begin caring for her. She let Anne have her bed and Jeanne slept in the attic.
A short time later, Jeanne took in two more old women in need of help and by 1841, she rented another space to house a dozen of elderly people. The next year, she attained an open convent and housed 40 more people.
With approval from her peers, Jeanne began focusing her attention on her new mission - assisting abandoned elderly women. This marked the beginning of the religious congregation known now as The Little Sisters of the Poor.
Jeanne constructed a simple Rule of Life for her new community of women. Each day they went around town requesting food, clothing and money for those in their care. Jeanne's carried on with her new life's work for the next four decades of her life.
More young women started to hear about Jeanne's mission and joined her. Through begging on the streets, Jeanne was able to open four more homes for her needy within those 10 years. By 1850, over 100 women had joined the congregation.
Jeanne was soon forced out of the leadership role, though. The local bishop appointed Abbe Auguste Le Pailleur as Superior General of the congregation. Jeanne was assigned to strictly begging on the streets until she was sent to retire in a life of obscurity for her final 27 years of life.
After The Little Sisters of the Poor communities began expanding throughout France, their work spread to England in 1851 and the United States founded five of their own communities from 1866 to 1871.
By 1879, Jeanne's community had over 2,400 Little Sisters. On March 1, 1879, Pope Leo XIII approved the Constitution for the congregation for seven years.
At the time of Jeanne's death, on August 29, 1879, most of the Little Sisters had no idea Jeanne was the real founder of the congregation. However, Le Pailleur was investigated and dismissed in 1890 and Jeanne became acknowledged once again as the foundress.
St. Jeanne Jugan passed away at the age of 86. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on October 3, 1982 and canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 11, 2009.
During her canonization Pope Benedict XVI expressed, "In the Beatitudes, Jeanne Jugan found the source of the spirit of hospitality and fraternal love, founded on unlimited trust in Providence, which illuminated her whole life."
She is the patron saint of the destitute elderly and her feast day is celebrated on August 30.
St. Faustina Kowalska
Find SaintsPopular Saints
Saints by Alphabet
Saint Feast Days by Month
Patron Saints by Alphabet
Saint Feast Days by Month
St. Margaret Clitherow was born in Middleton, England, in 1555, of protestant parents. Possessed of good looks and full of wit and merriment, she was a charming personality. In 1571, she married John ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Saint Veronica is known as the woman who offered a cloth to Jesus so He could wipe His face on the way to His crucifixion. The cloth is believed to exist today in the Vatican and is considered one of the most treasured relics of the Church. Saint Veronica is not ... continue readingMore Female Saints
Saint Michael the Archangel isn't a saint, but rather he is an angel, and the leader of all angels and of the army of God. This is what the title "Archangel" means, that he is above all the others in rank. St. Michael has four main responsibilities or offices, as we ... continue reading
St. Gabriel is an angel who serves as a messenger for God to certain people. He is one of the three archangels. Gabriel is mentioned in both the Old and the New Testaments of the Bible. First, in the Old Testament, Gabriel appears to the prophet Daniel to explain his ... continue reading
St. Benedict is believed to have been born around 480, as the son to a Roman noble of Norcia and the twin to his sister, Scholastica. In the fifth century, the young Benedict was sent to Rome to finish his education with a nurse/housekeeper. The subject that ... continue reading
There is a saint called Benedict the Black or Benedict the Moor. He was born a slave near Messina, Italy. He was freed by his master and became a solitary, eventually settling with other hermits at Montepellegrino. He was made superior of the community, but when he was ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith Fournier
Vincent was a man like us who encountered the same Risen Lord Jesus whom we have encountered. He struggled with the choices which always accompany living the Christian life in the midst of a culture which has squeezed God and His truth out of the center of its ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes
by Catholic Online
- Pope Francis accepts resignation of Chilean cardinal accused of cover-up
- 'Living Lent': Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent - Day 21
- St. Margaret Clitherow: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, March 26, 2019
- Prayer Requests Live for Monday, March 25th, 2019 HD Video
- Daily Reading for Thursday, March 28th, 2019 HD Video
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, March 26, 2019
- Montreal priest stabbed at Mass 'eager' to return
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, March 27th, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, March 26th, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, March 25th, 2019 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Friday, March 22nd, 2019 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org
Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel
Learn the Catholic way
Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all
K-12 & Adult Education Classes
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education
Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.