St. Jeanne-Marie Kerguin
Franciscan Missionary and Martyr
Today’s saint of the day is St. Jeanne-Marie Kerguin, also known as: Giovanna Kerguin, Juana María Kerguin, Marie Santa Natalia, and Marie de Sainte Nathalie.
Jeanne-Marie was born on May 5, 1864, at Belle-Isle en Terre, France to a poor peasant family. Her mother died when she was quite young, and she was forced to take over the household chores for the family. With her home obligations fulfilled, she joined the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in 1887, taking the name Marie Santa Natalia. There she happily threw herself into a life of prayer and devotion to the simplest and most menial tasks of her house. She was assigned first to Paris, then to Carthage in north Africa. She encountered health problems and was sent to Rome to recover. There she answered the call of her Order to work as a missionary. She arrived in China in March 1899, and was almost immediately hospitalized for several months with typhus. Her short lived career ended during a crackdown on foreign missionaries during the Boxer Rebellion. St. Jeanne – Marie Kerguin was beheaded on July 9, 1900, at at Taiyuanfu, China. She was one of the Martyrs of Shanxi and one of the Martyrs of China. She was canonized on October 1, 2000 by Pope John Paul II at Rome.
“Do not be afraid. Death is only God who is passing by.”
“I am happy to have to suffer. When one suffers one is detached from the world.God wishes that I love more than all else; He has been so generous to me and has done so much for me since I came into this world.”