Delanoue, Jeanne (1666–1736)

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Delanoue, Jeanne (1666–1736)

Saint. Name variations: Joan Delanoue. Born in Saumur, in the French province of Anjou, in 1666; died in Saumur in 1736; daughter of a merchant.

Jeanne Delanoue was born in Saumur, in the French province of Anjou, in 1666. Her father, a small-time merchant, sold cloth, crockery, and religious curios to the faithful on pilgrimage to a nearby shrine. On his death, Jeanne inherited his house and shop and continued the practice. But Delanoue was a miser. She was notorious for driving a hard bargain, renting space in her house at exorbitant rates, and engaging in commerce on Sunday. "What changed her nature it is difficult to say," writes Phyllis McGinley . "But saints have recovered from more picturesque depravities than stinginess and Joan did at length repent. She began in a small way by giving away one of her dresses. … Soon she was looking after sever al orphans in her little house and taking in off the street anyone who seemed destitute." Eventually, Jeanne Delanoue founded the Sisters of St. Anne and spent her life in service to the poor. Her feast day is celebrated on August 17.

suggested reading:

McGinley, Phyllis. Saint-Watching. NY: Viking, 1969.

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