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Lives of the Saints:

How They Changed the World

Saint Joan of the Cross (1666–1736)

Saint Joan of the Cross (1666–1736)

Feast day: August 17

Saint Joan was born in 1666 in France. Her parents owned a small business, which she took over upon their deaths. In her business dealings, Joan was notorious for her greed and heartlessness to beggars and the poor. However, Joan’s demeanor changed when she met a ragged old woman who claimed that she was on close terms with God. After this meeting, Joan became a new person, showing compassion for the poor, the disadvantaged, and the sick. She closed her business so that she could dedicate all of her time to helping others. Joan started many religious houses, schools, and hospitals. She took on the name Joan of the Cross and was canonized in 1982. (Image in public domain-70)