Joan Delanoue was born at Anjou, France, in 1666. As the youngest of twelve children, Joan was forced to take over her mother’s religious goods store when the latter died in 1691. For a time, Joan’s sole preoccupation seemed to be making money. However, when she was about thirty years old, she met Frances Souchet, a widow, and changed her whole life.
In 1698, Joan closed her shop and volunteered to help with orphans. After six years, Joan, her niece, and two companions adopted the religious life, forming a community called the Sisters of St. Anne of the Province of Saumur. After two years, Joan professed vows, and with help from St. Louis Grignion de Montfort as well as the Oratorians, she continued her work with orphans.
The Bishop of Angers gave Joan’s community canonical approval, and by 1721, her community had spread to other towns in France. Joan continued to live a life of austerity, while also suffering painful ailments. Moreover, Joan became widely known for healings obtained through her intercession. Joan died on August 17, 1736. She was beatified in 1947 by Pope Pius XII and canonized in 1982 by Pope John Paul II.
PRAYER: God, You showered heavenly gifts on St. Joan. Help us to imitate her virtues during our eartly life and enjoy eternal happiness with her in heaven. Amen.