Saint Jane of Valois

St. Jane of Valois (1464-1505) was born to French King Louis XI and Charlotte of Savoy. Much of her life was marked by neglect and emotional abuse. Her father resented her because she was a sickly and deformed female child. He sent her away to a remote country home where she was carelessly raised before being married off at the age of nine to her cousin, the Duke of Orléans. Her husband likewise despised and publicly humiliated her, and their marriage was never consummated. Jane had a devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary from a young age, especially in the mystery of the Incarnation. One day Our Lady appeared to Jane and told her that in the future she would found a religious community. Through her veneration of the Blessed Mother, Jane found the strength to be a loyal and devoted wife during her painful twenty-two year marriage. When her husband became king, he had their marriage annulled. This left Jane free to found the Order of the Annunciation dedicated to imitating Mary's virtues, as Our Lady foretold. She also gave her Order the duty of constant prayer for the souls of her father and husband who both mistreated her. St. Jane of Valois' feast day is February 4th.
 
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