On May 23 the universal Church celebrates the feast day of St. Jane Antide (Jeanne-Antide) Thouret, a Sister of Charity who worked tirelessly for the faith amidst persecution during the French Revolution.
Jane was born in Sancey, France, in 1765 to a poor family. Her mother died when she was 16 years old. The Saint took on many family responsibilities until she joined the Vincentian Sisters in Paris at the age of 22, working among the sick in various hospitals.
On 15 August 1797 she returned to France in BesanÃ§on where she founded a school for poor girls. On 11 April 1799 she founded a new congregation in BesanÃ§on known as the Thouret sisters.
During the French Revolution, when many religious and priests were killed, she was ordered to return home to a secular life. Jane refused, and when she tried to escape the authorities, she was badly beaten.
St. Jane Antide Thouret finally returned to Sancey, where she cared for the sick and opened a small school for girls until she was forced to flee to Switzerland. She fled to Germany before returning again to Switzerland to found a school and hospital in 1799 and a congregation called the Institute of the Daughters of St. Vincent de Paul. The community eventually expanded into France and Italy.
She died 30 years after the founding of her community, in 1828 of natural causes.
In 1934, she was canonized by Pope Puis XI.