Friday, May 23, 2014

St. Jane Antide Thouret

Today is the feast of St. Jane Antide Thouret, founder of the Institute of the Daughters of St. Vincent de Paul.

Jane was born in Sancy, France, in 1765 to a poor family. Her mother died when she was just 16 years old. leaving her to manage the family and help her father raise her younger siblings. At the age of 22, she joined the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, working among the sick in various hospitals.

During the suppression of the religious during the French Revolution, she was ordered to return home to a secular life. Jane refused, and when she tried to escape the authorities, she was so badly beaten that it took months to recover.

St. Jane Antide Thouret finally returned to Sancy, where she cared for the sick and opened a small school for girls. There she teamed up with other exiled religious and clergy to minister to the sick until she was forced to flee to Switzerland. However, due to anti-Catholic prejudice, the group was forced to move on to Germany. There she founded a school and hospital in 1799 and a congregation called the Institute of the Daughters of St. Vincent de Paul. The community eventually expanded into France and Italy.

She died in 1828 at Naples, Italy of natural causes.

In 1934, she was canonized by Pope Pius XI.

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