Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Saint Jeanne (aka Joan) de Lestonnac (d. 1640)

Saint Jeanne (aka Joan) de Lestonnac (d. 1640)

Patron saint of abuse victims, people rejected by religious orders, and widows

Feast day: February 2

Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac was born in Bordeaux, France, in 1556. She was happily married with four children when her husband tragically passed away. After her husband’s death, Jeanne singlehandedly ran her home and estate. When her children were grown and established, she entered religious life.

She eventually established her own religious community, and she and her sisters ministered to plague victims, assisted the poor, and combated the heresy of Calvinism. However, one of her fellow nuns decided to conspire against Jeanne, resulting in that nun's election as superior and Jeanne’s removal. The new superior maliciously mistreated Jeanne, but Jeanne stood strong and did not retaliate with anger. Eventually, the cruel nun repented, but Jeanne no longer wanted to be reinstated as superior. She acted as a retired member of her order for the rest of her life.

Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac was canonized in 1949.

(Image in public domain-70)