Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Saint Jeanne Jugan (1792–1879)

Saint Jeanne Jugan (1792–1879)

Patron saint of the destitute elderly.

Feast day: August 30

Saint Jeanne Jugan, also known as Sister Mary of the Cross, was born in France in 1792. She and two other companions formed a Catholic community of prayer, dedicated to teaching the catechism and assisting the poor. Jeanne then set out to minister to abandoned elderly women.

From this ministry arose a community called The Little Sisters of the Poor. Daily, The Little Sisters went door to door requesting food, clothing, and money for the women they were caring for. By 1879, the community had 2,400 Little Sisters. That same year, Jeanne passed away.

She was canonized on October 11, 2009, by Pope Benedict XVI. 

(Image Leon Brune, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)