St. John Francis Regis
St. John-Francis Regis was born at Font-Couverte in the diocese of Narbonne, in Languedoc. The son of a wealthy merchant, he was educated at the Jesuit College at Beziers, and at Cahors, Le Puy, Auch, and Tournon.
At the age of eighteen he entered the Society of Jesus at Beziers, was ordained in 1631 at the age of 34. He worked with plague victims in Toulouse, France and taught at Pamiers.
He was a skilled preacher and catechist who so good that the children he taught helped bring their parents back to the Church.
He established hostels for prostitutes, whom he called “Daughters of Refuge”, who wished to leave the business and was often assaulted for his trouble. He helped a group of country girls stay away from the cities by establishing them in the lacemaking and embroidery trade. St. John also established confraternities of the Blessed Sacrament, and through his powerful preaching, made numerous conversions among the Huguenots. He died while preaching a mission and was canonized in 1737.
Patronage: embroiderers, lace makers, social workers, medical social workers