1464 – 1505; Feast- February 4

By Catholic News Service     2/7/2018

Also known as Joan of Valois, this French foundress was the daughter of King Louis XI and the wife of King Louis XII, her father’s cousin. She was mistreated by both men, and reportedly was physically handicapped from birth, though she may have been merely undersized and plain. Her husband sought to have their marriage annulled so he could marry Joan’s sister-in-law, who inherited Brittany; he succeeded in 1498. Thereafter Joan lived in Bourges, where she devoted herself to prayer and good works, and established, under Franciscan direction, the Order of the Annunciation with 11 local schoolgirls. A year before her death, she renounced all her possessions, including her title as Duchess of Berry. She was canonized in 1950.