Today is the Feast of St. Jean-François Régis
(1597 – 1640)
St. John Francis Regis was born into a wealthy family in southern France. He entered the Society of Jesus at age 19. He was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1630 at age 34. After his ordination he became a missionary working in various French towns. He would walk from town to town preaching from the heart. His speaking style was simple but poetic. He was easy to understand and his zeal attracted many people. He usually heard confessions in the morning and visited prisons and hospitals in the afternoon. His preaching missions successfully converted many people and brought others back to the faith.
St. John Francis Regis was well known for his work with at-risk women and orphans. He established safe houses and helped the unemployed find work. He led many to be trained as lace makers, giving them a stable income.
Saint Regis passed away on December 31, 1640, at age 43. He had been suffering from a lung ailment but insisted on preaching a parish mission and hearing confessions. A penitent found him unconscious in the confessional, and he was revived long enough to receive last rites before dying. His last words were “Jesus, my Savior, I recommend my soul to you.”
Hailed as a confessor of the faith and a model for Jesuit missionaries, St. Regis was beatified on May 24, 1716, by Pope Clement XI and canonized on June 16, 1737, by Pope Clement XII.
After his death, Regis Societies were formed throughout France and focused on outreach to the poor and teaching in rural areas. Today, St. Regis’ name lives on across the world. There is a St. Regis Lake, Mount St. Regis, Regis High School (in both Manhattan and Denver), Regis University in Denver, and St. Regis Hotels.
Credit: Jesuits Midwest; https://jesuitsmidwest.org/news-detail?TN=NEWS-20160615021646MIDWESTPROV and Catholic Faith Patron Saints; http://catholicfaithpatronsaints.com/prayers-quips-and-quotes-st-john-francis-regis-feast-day-june-16/
You don’t practice real charity unless you are ready to be humiliated and often by the person towards whom you’re trying to practice charity.
St. Jean-François Régis
St. Regis, pray for us.
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family pray for us. Amen.