Nothing that is deeply human is a stranger to Jeanne de Lestonnac. Her entire life was a radical and sincere embrace of the different events in her life, transforming these happenings into a process of growth and self-giving. “Keep the flame alive” and “extend your hand” like Mary Our Lady was her personal drive. This impelled her to create a Life Project based on the Gospel and one that would remain throughout time.
She is born in Bordeaux, France in 1556, the same year that Saint Ignatius of Loyola dies. It is a time of religious warfare and the emergence of humanism, a humanism to which she was introduced by her uncle, Michael de Montaigne. She discovered the need for the Christian education of women as a civic good that contributes to the transformation of society.
She was Daughter, Wife, Mother and Widow. She founded the Order of the Company of Mary Our Lady in 1607, the first feminine religious Order approved by the Church for the education of women. She was canonized by Pope Pius XII on May 15, 1949.