St. Jane Valois
St. Jane was the daughter of King Louis XI of France. She was born in 1464. Since the king wanted a son, he was very disappointed when Jane was born. He did not even want his little daughter to live at the palace because she was deformed. When the princess was just five years old, she was sent to live with other people. Despite the way she was treated by her own father, Jane was good and gentle with everyone. She was convinced that Jesus and Mary loved her. Jane also believed that the Lord would use her to do good in his name. And she was right.
When she grew up, Jane decided that she did not want to marry. She had given herself to Jesus and his Blessed Mother. But her father ignored her personal choice. He forced her to marry the duke of Orleans. Jane was a devoted wife for twenty-two years. After the duke became king, however, he sent Jane to live by herself in a far-off town-ship. The queen did not let herself become resentful. Instead, she exclaimed: "God be praised! He has permitted this that I may serve him better than I have up until now."
Jane lived a prayerful life. She practiced penances and acts of kindness. She gave all her money to the poor. She even started an order of sisters called the Sisters of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She spent the rest of her life joyfully for Jesus and his Mother. St. Jane died in 1505. She was proclaimed a saint by Pope Pius XII in 1950.
Let us pray for the gift of seeing hardships as opportunities to strengthen our faith in Christ, and may we respond to every hardship by giving it an eternal value.