August 2006 - Volume 11, Issue 1

Saint Of The Month

St. Joan Antide-Thouret – August 24

Painting of Saint Joan Antide-ThouretThe daughter of a leather-worker, Joan Antide-Thouret lived during the violent years of the French Revolution. It was a time when many clergymen and women suffered persecution and even death at the hands of various revolutionary governments.

Following her mother's death in 1781, 16 year old Joan cared for her many brothers and sisters. Then, in her early twenties, Joan experienced a vision that prompted her to join the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul in Paris. When the Order was broken up by a government order in 1793, Joan fled on foot to her home village of Sancey, near Besancon.

Undaunted, Joan opened a free school, where she spent her mornings teaching local children. During her afternoons and at night, she cared for the sick.

When her activities attracted the attention of local authorities, Joan was forced to flee, this time to Switzerland After several years in exile, anti-religious restrictions eased and she returned again to Besancon.

A prominent priest urged Joan to resume teaching, so in 1799, she and four other nuns founded a new school, along with a soup kitchen and hospital, to serve the local poor. The community prospered, and Joan was asked to set up similar establishments, first in France and then in Switzerland and Italy. In 1818, Pope Pius VII officially recognized Joan and her colleagues as a new order.

Sadly, Joan's last years were troubled by arguments between French Church officials and the Vatican concerning authority over the Order. While trying to resolve the problem, Joan built several more convents in Italy. She died in Naples on August 24, 1826.

you invite all who are burdened to come to You.
Allow your healing hand to heal me.
Touch my soul with Your compassion for others.
Touch my heart with your courage and infinite love for all.
Touch my mind with your wisdom,
that my mouth may always proclaim Your praise.
Most loving Heart of Jesus,
bring me health in body and spirit
that I may serve You
with all my strength.