Today is the feast of St. Colette, founder of the Poor Clare Colettines.
Born in 1380, Nicolette was named in honor of St. Nicholas of Myra. Her parents, who were both in their 60’s when she was born, nicknamed her Colette. Quiet and hard-working, Colette was a pious child who demonstrated a sensitive and loving nature.
When Colette was 17, both of her parents died and was left her in the care of a Benedictine abbot. She initially tried to join the Beguine and Benedictine orders, but neither one worked out for her. Instead, she became a third order Franciscan. At age 21, she renounced the world in order to spend her life alone in penance and prayer as an anchoress – walled into a cell whose only opening was a grilled window into a church. She left her cell in 1406 in response to a dream directing her to reform the Poor Clares.
She entered the order of Poor Clares, was appointed superior general, and began a successful reform of the Poor Clare convent at Beaume, Switzerland, which spread rapidly through France, Savoy, Germany, and Flanders. She revived the primitive rule and spirit of St. Francis. Her rule prescribed that the nuns go barefooted, observe perpetual fast and abstinence, and practice extreme poverty. She was well-known for her wisdom, sanctity, ecstasies, and visions of the Passion.
St. Colette is the patron saint of those who have lost parents.
“If there be a true way that leads to the Everlasting Kingdom, it is most certainly that of suffering, patiently endured.”
~ St. Collette
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Please Note: This list is not all – inclusive.