- Jane de Lestonnac
- Joan de Lestonnac
Married Gaston de Montferrant, Baron of Landiras, in 1572 at age 16. Mother of seven, five of whom lived to adulthood; two of the five entered religious life. Widowed at age 41, she ran the affairs of her estate and castle by herself.
Believing that her obligations to the world were finished, she entered a Cistercian house at Toulouse, France at age 46. She was not up to the rigors of the order’s discipline, became seriously ill, and wanted to die at the monastery; her superiors refused to allow it. On her last night at the monastery, she had a vision of Mary who presented an image of Jeanne helping lost children.
Returning to her estate, she slowly started this work with local women and priests which led to the foundation of the Sisters of the Company of Mary, devoted to the education of girls and slowing Calvinism. It was approved by Pope Paul V on 7 April 1607; Joan was elected superior in 1610. Today the congregation has grown to 2,500 sisters in 17 countries.
- “Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac“. CatholicSaints.Info. 31 January 2010. Web. 3 June 2015. <>