Saint of the Day ~ August 26

SAINT JEANNE ELISABETH BICHIER des ANGES (1773-1838), religious and co-foundress

Today, the Church honors Saint Jeanne Elisabeth Bichier des Anges, a woman who felt called to minister to the spiritual needs of those suffering the effects of the French Revolution.

Jeanne was born in the year 1773 in La Blanc, France to Antony Bichier, lord of Anges, and Marie Augier de Moussac. From the ages of 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 was still suffering the effects of the French Revolution, and there were neither priests nor religious communities to attend to the spiritual needs of the people. Jeanne Elisabeth gathered the remaining faithful together to pray, read Scripture, and sing hymns. After her mother’s death in 1804, she lived for a period of time with the Carmelite Order and also the Society of Providence, in order to learn about religious life firsthand.

She also heard of Andrew Fournet (who later became a saint), who practiced a similar ministry in a nearby city. She visited him and asked for his help. The two quickly became friends, and, together, they founded the “Daughters of the Cross of Saint Andrew” in 1807 to care for the sick and the poor, and to help educate the people of rural France.

Sister Jeanne Elisabeth was the community’s first Mother Superior, and, by 1830, the community had sixty houses scattered throughout France.

A few weeks after reaching her 65th birthday, Mother Jeanne Elisabeth passed away from natural causes on August 26, 1838. She was canonized a saint in 1947 by Venerable Pope Pius XII.

We commemorate her feastday on August 26.

(From,, and



(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Commons for Holy Women)

“Lord, pour upon us the Spirit of Wisdom and Love with which You filled Your servant, Saint Jeanne Elisabeth. By serving You as she did, may we please You with our faith and our actions.

“Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

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