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Saint of the Day - Saint Colette (March 6)

Saint Colette was a French nun of the fourteenth sand fifteenth centuries. She is well-known for reforming the Poor Clares, the order founder by Saint Clare of Assisi. Saint Colette has a great story! Join me as we learn about Saint Colette!


Image retrieved from https://christianapostles.com/st-colette/ and used as being in the public domain.


Saint Colette was born the daughter of as poor carpenter named Robert DeBoilet and his wife, Marguerite Moyon, at Corby. Corby is in the Picardy region of France, which includes parts of 8 regions in the south and east of France, including Ardennes. Saint Colette was actually born Nicole DeBoilet. Her parents wanted a child in the worst way. They sought the intercession of Saint Nicholas (feast day is December 6 - YES! THAT Saint Nicholas) to get pregnant. They promised that the would name their child for Saint Nicholas. When Saint Colette was born, she was named Nicole - the feminine version of Nicholas. Colette came from the nickname that he parents called her growing up - Nicolette, which become shorted to Colette - and stuck with her hundreds of years later.. Her father served as the carpenter at the Benedictine Abbey nearby.


After the death of her parents in 1399, Colette joined the Beguines. She found their lifestyle unchallenging and too easy for her . After that, she joined a Benedictine monastery as a lay sister. This was most likely to avoid an arranged marriage. However, she again found this life without any challenges. In September of 1402, Colette joined the Franciscan Order, again, as a lay sister. She lived the life of a hermit under the guidance of Abbot of Corbie. During this time, she lived close to the abbey. During this period, Saint Colette had a number of dreams and visions that she was intended to return the Franciscan Second Order to its original values of austerity and absolute poverty.


In October of 1406, Saint Colette went to Pope Benedict XIII of .Avignon. While he is considered today to be an antipope, the people of France viewed him as the rightful pope. He met with her and agreed to allow her to transfer to the Order of the Poor Clares (a Franciscan Order of nuns who were founded by St. Clare of Assisi (feast day August 11). St. Clare was a contemporary of St. Francis of Assisi (feast day October 2). Benedict XIII also empowered Saint Colette, through several papal bulls issued between the years of 1406 and 1412, to complete the reformation of the order and establish new monasteries.


Saint Colette sought the approval of Countess of Geneva and the aid of the Franciscan itinerant preacher, Henry de Beaume, both of which she received, and went about her work of reforming the Order, starting with the monastery at Beaume. She would remain there only a short time before she moved on the Besançon, where she opened a new monastery in a nearly abandoned convent of Urbanist Poor Clares. That was around the year 1410. From Besancon, the reform movement spread to Auxonne (1412), to Poligny (1415), to Ghent (1412), to Heidelberg (1444), to Amiens, to Pont-à-Mousson in Lorraine, and to other communities of Poor Clares. The reforms took off faster that Saint Colette could, travel from one monastery to another to implement them. In the monasteries that followed her reform, she decreed that the nuns (there is a difference between sisters and nuns - nuns are cloistered in monasteries and sisters are cloistered in the world) would go through life barefooted, would practice severe poverty, and the observation of perpetual fasting and abstinence. These nuns were (and are) called the Colettines. There is also a Colette Order of Friars.


Saint Colette died on March 6, 1447 at Ghent. Her remains were interred at Ghent. She was renowned for her sanctity, ecstasies, and visions of the Passion, and prophesied her own death in her orders convent at Ghent, Belgium.


Saint Colette was beatified on January 23, 1740 (nearly 300 years after her death as opposed to Saint John-Joseph of God, who was beatified barely 50 years after his death without the benefit of the internet or 24 hour news cycles) by Pope Clement XII. She was canonized on May 24, 1807 (more than 360 years after her death) by Pope Pius VIII.


"We must faithfully keep what we have promised. If through human weakness we fail, we must always without delay arise again by means of holy penance, and give our attention to leading a good life and to dying a holy death. May the Father of all mercy, the Son by his holy passion, and the Holy Spirit, source of peace, sweetness and love, fill us with their consolation." St. Colette.


Saint Colette, pray for us!


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Please join me at 3:30 pm Eastern (US) time for the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, Saint of the Day and Daily Update.


Starting on Good Friday, March 29, 2024, we will be praying the Divine Mercy Novena on the Chaplet of Divine Mercy show. The prayers will come from here: https://www.thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/novena


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Websites I regularly mention in my broadcast include:


Morning Offering (www.mortningoffering.com) and Catholic Online (www.catholic.org). Franciscan Media (Franciscanmedia.org) is another site that I peruse regularly. I love ewtn.com for its religious programming and often listen live on my computer. I also play its television on my computer since EWTN iOS not carried on DirecTV Stream.

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