Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Saint Colette (1380–1447)

Saint Colette (1380–1447)

Patron saint of women seeking to conceive, expectant mothers, and sick children

Feast day: March 6

Saint Colette was orphaned at age 17. She was called to serve God through religious life and, at age 21, began to follow the Third Order Franciscan rule by becoming an anchoress. (An anchorite or anchoress is a man or woman who lives a solitary life of prayer.)  As anchoress, Colette was enclosed in a small room where the only opening was a window looking into a church.

After four years of solitary prayer and penance, Colette joined the Poor Clares. She became a reformer of the Order and reinstated the simple Rule of Saint Clare in the monasteries that she founded. She and her sisters were known for their love of poverty and constant fasting. Colette founded her reformed monasteries during the Great Western Schism (1378-1417) when three men claimed to be pope.

Her life of prayer and penance was a sign to the entire Church to cling more closely to Christ. Her reformed Order, known as the Poor Clare Collettines, still exists today. 

(Image Paul Hermans, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)