Saint of the Day ~ March 31

holy woman and foundress

Today, the Church honors Blessed Jane of Toulouse, a woman devoted to a life of prayer and service to the poor, always seeing the face of Jesus in others.

Jane was born and lived in the French town of Toulouse during the early part of the 13th century. A Carmelite monastery was founded in the same town in the year 1240, which exposed Jane to the Carmelite lifestyle and spirituality.

In 1265, when Saint Simon Stock, a 13th century reformer of the Carmelites, was passing through Toulouse, Jane met him and requested to be affiliated with the Carmelites. Simon agreed and Jane became the first Third Order Carmelite.

Jane vowed herself to a life of perpetual chastity and applied herself completely to the Carmelite Rule. In addition to many daily holy practices and penances, she reached out to the local community and worked to help the sick and poor. One of Jane’s primary missions was encouraging the boys of the town to help her serve the poor and help them discern whether or not they were called to be Carmelites themselves.

In the year 1286, Jane died from natural causes, and was beatified on February 11, 1895 by Pope Leo XIII.

Blessed Jane is considered to be the foundress and first member of the Carmelite Tertiary Order, an Order of primarily lay people who, in response to a special call from God, freely and resolutely promise to live the evangelical life in the spirit of the Carmelite Order and under its direction.

Within their state in life, be they single or married, they seek to live a life of contemplative and prayerful reflection on the life of Christ as He is revealed to us, especially in the Scriptures, remembering that they, themselves, are in the presence of God twenty-four hours a day.

We honor Blessed Jane of Toulouse on March 31.

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(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, Blessed Jane. 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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