St. Jeanne de Lcstonnac, who was canonised on Sunday last, was born at Bordeaux in 1556, daughter of Richard Lestonnac, a
Calvinist. She is credited with resisting " the efforts of her mother who sought to thrust her towards heresy."
About this time her uncle, the famous French writer, Michel de Montaigne, noticed the distress the girl was suffering for the Faith, intervened, and had her sent back to her family.
At seventeen she married Baron Gaston de Montferrand, on of the Governor of Bordeaux. She had eight children, three of whom died in infancy.
She was a widow after 24 years of marriage and six years later, at the age of 47, she was admitted to the Order of the Fcuillantines of Toulouse. Illness forced her to return home after six months and she devoted all her efforts to caring for her children.
This was the beginning of what became the Company of the Daughters of Mary Notre Dame. She organised schools for the girls that came to her and in 1607 Pope Paulus V approved the name of the new congregation, which within a short . time had established 30 convents.
Jeanne de Lestonnac died at the age of 84. There are two houses of the Order in England and the English novitiate house is at Cobham, Surrey. Her beatification was carried out in St. Peter's on September 23, 1900. Her cause was initiated in 1834.