Tuesday, February 4, 2014

February 4: Saint Joan of Valois

St. Joan of Valois
at Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois,
Paris, France.
Photo by Marie-Lan Nguyen

History

Because Saint Joan of Valois was a princess, her dad, King Louis XI of France, set up an engagement between Joan and the Duke of Orleans when she was only two months old and he was only two years old! Joan had a happy childhood, but she had to get married when she was only 12. Her husband didn’t want her because she walked with a limp and wasn’t pretty, but he was afraid of the king. Then King Louis XI died, and a few years later, Joan’s brother died, too, so her husband became king and she became queen of France. Her husband immediately went to the pope to have their marriage declared null because he never wanted to marry Joan. Joan didn’t like this, but she accepted the pope’s ruling. After all, she knew she was supposed to start a monastery. She called it the Order of the Annunciation, because she wanted to respond to every difficulty as the Blessed Mother had, “Be it done unto me according to Your will.”

Activity

Because Saint Joan of Valois was used to royal life, she had some trouble leading the monastery. She would get impatient with the nuns when they didn’t make progress as quickly as she wanted them to. Do you ever get impatient with other people? Today, make a commitment to pray the Hail Mary (just as Saint Joan of Valois would have done) every time you feel impatient with somebody. You might have to pray it more than once in order to start feeling the grace to be patient, but you will!

Saint Joan of Valois, pray for us!

More reading for parents: