St. Colette: Abbess, Mystic, Reformer
The saint of the day for March 6 is St. Colette, founder of the Poor Clare Colettines. She is the patron saint of expectant mothers and unborn babies, of childless couples who long to conceive, and of sick children.
Colette was a miracle baby, born to parents over sixty years of age, who had been praying for a child to Nicholas of Myra. Born at Corbie in Picardy, France in 1381, Nicolette was named in honor of St. Nicholas and was known by her nickname, 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 distributed her inheritance to the poor and initially joined 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 piety, wisdom, ecstasies, and visions of the Passion. She was also known for her appreciation and care for animals. Colette helped Saint Vincent Ferrer heal the papal schism and she founded seventeen convents.
Colette died in 1447, at Ghent. Her relics came to rest at Poligny in northern France.
St. Colette was beatified in 1740, and canonized in 1807. The Colettine Sisters are found today, outside of France, in Belgium, Germany, Spain, England, and the United States.
“If there be a true way that leads to the Everlasting Kingdom, it is most certainly that of suffering, patiently endured.”
“We must faithfully keep what we have promised. If through human weakness we fail, we must always without delay arise again by means of holy penance, and give our attention to leading a good life and to dying a holy death. May the Father of all mercy, the Son by his holy passion, and the Holy Spirit, source of peace, sweetness and love, fill us with their consolation. Amen.”
“My eyes, I have filled with Jesus upon Whom I have fixed them at the Elevation of the Host at Holy Mass and I do not wish to replace Him with any other image.”
~ St. Colette
Prayer for a Special Intention
O glorious SAINT COLETTE,
I beseech you
through the burning love which
inflamed your heart for Jesus
in the Most Holy Sacrament,
through the marvelous graces
with which He enriched you and
the loving compassion you did bear
to Him in His bitter sufferings,
obtain from Him for me
my requests. . . .,
which I hope to receive
through your powerful intercession.
LET US PRAY:
O Lord Jesus Christ,
who have enriched Your spouse,
with heavenly graces,
grant, we beseech You,
that we may imitate her virtues
here on earth, and with her
enjoy the eternal happiness of heaven.