St. Jeanne Elizabeth des Bichier des Anges
Roman Rite Calendar - 08/26
Born to Antony Bichier, lord of Agnes, and Marie Augier de Moussac. From ages ten through nineteen she was educated at a convent at Poitiers, France. When her father died, she returned home to keep her family's property from being confiscated by the state. She won the court battle to retain the property, and she and her mother moved to La Guimetiere.
The town still suffered the effects of the French Revolution; it didn't even have a priest, much less religious communities. Jeanne Elizabeth gathered the remaining faithful together to pray, read Scripture, and sing hymns. Lived for a while with the Carmelites and the Society of Providence to learn about religious life firsthand.
She soon heard of Saint Andrew Fournet, who practiced a similar ministry in a nearby city; in 1797 she met him, and asked for his help. The two quickly became friends, and together founded the Daughters of the Cross of Saint Andrew to care for the sick and the poor, and to help educate the people of rural France. Jeanne Elizabeth was the first superior of the community, and by 1830 the community had sixty houses scattered throughout France. A men's congregation, Priests of the Sacred Heart of Betherran was formed alongside the Daughters.
July 1773 at La Blanc, France
26 August 1838 of natural causes
1947 by Pope Pius XII
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