February 4

St. Joan of Valois

St. Joan of Valois

When they lived:

Saint Joan of Valois, also known as Saint Joan of France, lived from June 23, 1464, to February 4, 1505.

Where they lived:

Saint Joan of Valois was born in the royal Château de Nogent-le-Roi in Nogent-le-Roi, France. She spent most of her life in France.

Notable world events during the time of their life:

  • 1492 – Christopher Columbus’s First Voyage: In 1492, Christopher Columbus embarked on his historic voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, leading to the exploration and colonization of the Americas.
  • 1484 – Witch Hunts Begin: The late 15th century saw the beginning of witch hunts and trials, driven by fears of witchcraft and supernatural forces.
  • 1499 – Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper” Completed: Leonardo da Vinci completed his masterpiece, “The Last Supper,” a significant example of Renaissance art.
  • 1483 – Birth of Martin Luther: In 1483, Martin Luther, a figure in the Protestant Reformation, was born.
  • 1503 – Michelangelo’s Statue of David: Michelangelo completed his renowned statue of David, a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture.

Their patronage:

Saint Joan of Valois is the patron saint of prisoners, widows, and those ridiculed for piety. She is also venerated as a protector against sudden death and is invoked in times of mourning.

Early Life

Saint Joan of Valois, daughter of the king of France, was born on April 23, 1464. She had a sound mind but was physically deformed. Her love for the Lord was remarkable as a child; she dedicated her time to meditation and prayers. Her father wasn’t pleased with her devotion and lifestyle. While her father treated her harshly, she took everything with patience and total surrender to God. She told no one about her situation.

Dedication and Devotion

Because she always prayed and was fond of the Virgin Mary from an early age, she asked how she could best please her.

A reply came to her heart: “Before you die, you shall found the Order in my honor; this is the greatest pleasure that you can give to my son and myself.”

She didn’t know how it was going to come to pass.

At the age of 12, Joan’s father betrothed her to the Duke of Orleans. It was a forced marriage, and her suffering continued for 22 years. She lived a life of loneliness and humility in her marriage. Just like her father, her husband detested her so much that it reflected in the way he was treated, like a stranger.

In 1498, when Duke Louis ascended the throne as Louis XII, he decided to file for divorce. Given the condition of compulsion in marriage, the pope declared the marriage null and void. Joan accepted the situation and surrendered to God. She said,

“God has now detached me from the world and has made it possible for me to serve Him better than heretofore.”


After the divorce, Joan left for Bourges, where she continued her devotion to God. By this time, the revelation she had had at a young age was about to come to pass. She gathered a group of women to create a religious community devoted to the special veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Joan’s confessor, Father Gilbert, assisted her in bringing the revelation to pass. He drew up statutes in ten chapters, similar to the ten virtues of the Virgin Mary.

Pope Alexander VI approved the new institute in 1500 AD, and the young women were called Sisters of the Annunciation of Mary, or Annunciades.

In 1503, Joan of Valois took the veil in the convent of Bourges, where she made her solemn vows.

Death and Canonization

On February 4, 1505, Joan of Valois died and was canonized in 1950.

5 Interesting Facts About St. Joan of Valois

  1. Did you know that St. Joan of Valois became the Duchess of Berry
    after her divorce?
  2. Did you know that many miracles occurred at St. Joan of Valois’
  3. Did you know that St. Joan of Valois’ body was cut after 57 years of
    her death, and blood came out of the wounds?
  4. Did you know that St. Joan of Valois is the patron saint of those in
    difficult circumstances?
  5. Did you know that Pope Benedict XIV sanctioned public veneration
    of Jane in the year 1742?

Prayer to St. Joan of Valois

O Mary, Virgin and Mother of Jesus, Grant that I think, say, and do all that is most pleasing to God and to you.