World

SAINT PROFILE: JOAN DE LESTONNAC

1556-1640

By Catholic News Service     2/3/2020

This foundress, niece of the French essayist Montaigne, was born in Bordeaux. She remained Catholic despite her Calvinist mother, and married Gaston de Montferrant, with whom she had four children. After being widowed in 1597 she briefly joined a Cistercian convent. Later, after a period of nursing plague victims and teaching girls, she founded the Sisters of Notre Dame of Bordeaux, known then as the Company of Mary Our Lady. She was vindicated in a conspiracy devised by one of her own nuns, but she declined to be reappointed superior.

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