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St. Joan of Valois

Joan, or Jane, the physically mutilated daughter of King Louis XI of France, was endowed with wonderful offerings of sentiment and heart. Although she tolerated much throughout their own lives, she abode her disabilities with perseverance and spent many of her daytimes in prayer and musing. Under the general guidelines of her spiritual director, a Franciscan priest from whom she received the habit of the Third Order of St. Francis, young Joan prepared to give her life in assistance to God as a member of a religious community.

But her papa had other plans. He announced that Joan would marry the Duke of Orleans, and no oppositions were to be expressed. Joan dutifully obliged, though her marriage was not a happy one. When the duke ascended the throne as King Louis XII, his first act was to divorce the queen on the grounds that he had only agreed to the marriage to escape the exasperation of the emperor, his precede. The pope agreed that compulsion had been involved, and proclaimed the marriage null and void.

Joan felt an immediate feel of succour and did her space to Bourges. There she lived a secluded life of prayer and, in 1501, founded a pensive order of nuns–the Sisters of the Annunciation. God announced Joan home only a few years later.

She was canonized in 1950.

Lesson

Life dealt Joan a bad entrust from the beginning. Born with abnormalities, she yearned to seek the arms of the only Lover who could see her real allure, but her sovereign leader had other plans for her. Exclusively when she was at last exhausted from her haples wedlock was she free to devote herself to exchange with God. Life doesn’t ever administer us the cards we want either but like Joan, we can play them with grace.

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