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Saint Of The Month


August 1
St. Alphonsus Liguori

August 2
St. Peter Julian Eymard

August 4
St. John Vianney

August 7
St. Cajetan

August 8
St. Dominic

August 8
St. Mary MacKillop

August 10
St. Lawrence
(d. 258?)

August 11
St. Clare of Assisi

August 12
St. Jane Frances de Chantal

August 13
Sts. Pontian and Hippolytus
(d. 235)

August 14
St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe

August 16
St. Stephen of Hungary

August 17
St. Joan of the Cross

August 18
St. Louis of Toulouse

August 19
St. John Eudes

August 20
St. Bernard of Clairvaux

August 21
St. Pius X

August 23
St. Rose of Lima

August 24
St. Bartholomew

August 25
St. Louis of France

August 27
St. Monica

August 28
St. Augustine of Hippo

August 31
Sts. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus

St.Joan of the Cross
17 August
Saint Joan was born the youngest of twelve children in Saumur, France. Her parents were not especially devout, And the faith was presented to Joan as a part of life rather than a mystery to behold and contemplate. The family worked long hours as shopkeepers, supporting the 14 members of the household as best they could.

Joan followed the rote Catholic “rules” she learned from her parents and in school as best she could and was noted from a young age to exceed the expectations of parents, Instructors, and religious in this regard. But, by her own recounting, there was little feeling or faith involved in this meticulous approach to religion rather she was simply following rules, quite detached from their meaning.

At age 25, Joan’s mother died, and Joan inherited the house and shop of her parents. She began a partnership with her seventeen year old niece who shared the same name, the same looks, and the same interest in making money. As the family shop was located near a Shrine dedicated to Our Blessed Mother, the first thing Joan did was open the shop on Sundays and Feast days, to take advantage of the steady stream of pilgrims visiting.

Joan’s approach to life centered upon her business and acquiring the fineries of the world, continued until the eve the feast of Epiphany when she was to encounter a “simple” beggar woman who had the habit of telling others what the Lord wanted of them. Following her visit, Joan couldn’t get the messages out of her head. Not convinced that this woman was delivering a message from the Lord, Joan sought out spiritual direction from the local pastor. Not receiving what she needed, she traveled throughout the countryside, finding a priest at the local state-run hospital. He quickly instructed her to close her shop on Sundays and Feast Days, and instructed her in the art of penance and fasting.

From the beggar woman, Joan came to understand that she was to serve the poor, and that her judgment at the end of her life would be based upon her care for those in need. She immediately began to give away her fine possessions. Approximately two weeks later, this change in Joan’s approach to life was confirmed in a vision. Her niece found her in ecstasy one morning, which lasted three days and nights. What she saw was a clear call that she was to serve the poor that she would have others join her, that Father Geneteau, the priest from the state hospital, would be her director, and that Our Lady would be her guide.

Following guidance from the beggar, Joan traveled to Saint-Florent(about 91 miles away), and began to care for the poor children of that area. Returning to Saumur, she converted her shop into a lodging facility for the poor and homeless, especially children, which she quickly expanded to accommodate more. Over time, young women joined her and her niece, and began calling themselves the Sisters of Saint Anne of Providence. It was then that she took the religious name of Joan of the Cross. By the time of her death in 1736 she had founded 12 religious houses, hospices and schools. Pope John Paul II canonized her in 1982.