Welcome to KNOW YOUR SAINTS! a Sunday blog that features a saint whose feast day is celebrated during the following week. Be sure to find the poll located at the end of this post to vote for upcoming featured saints!
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1381 – 1447
Feast Day Feb 7th
**St. Colette was called to a life of austerity and piety, as you will see through this introduction. By now you know that I prefer to write these introductions or biographies or whatever you want to call them in a certain style, leaning more toward story telling. It’s just my manner. When I try to think of ways to explain her life and call upon her for help, I seem to be met with pursed lips. She wishes her biographies to be as austere as her life was. If you search for her yourself, you’ll see that many of her bios are, either by happenstance or design. Here goes.**
St. Colette lived during a time of great confusion within the Church, and many religious of that day lived much more sumptuous lives than they should have. Colette knew she was never meant for that, living as a Franciscan anchoress. That is, she lived within a single celled room, with the only opening being a barred window into a church. She was 21 at the time. Despite her wishes to live as such for the remainder of her life, saving souls through her sacrifice, she was called to more. St. Francis visited her in visions, imploring her to bring his Poor Clare nuns back to their original austerity. Since she was reluctant, she was blinded for three days, then mute for three more days, till she rescinded.
Still, she was met with opposition till she met with Peter de Luna (whom the French then recognized as the pope. Yes, there were two others at the time. It was the schism. Like I said, it was a confusing era, but for the sake of the brevity Colette wishes, I’ll refrain from getting into it now. Look it up on your own time, I suppose). He was impressed with her severity, since she walked to his residence barefoot and in rags, and immediately declared her a Poor Clare and superior of any convent that she desired to found or reform.
Despite the authority with which she preached reform, she had few sympathizers at best, and at worst was accused of sorcery. Eventually her reform became successful at a convent in Switzerland, and spread from there. Sisters under her order practiced the extreme poverty she did, including going barefoot, and fasted constantly, eating only enough to stay alive.
Colette is said to have performed many miracles, drew many to a greater awareness of morality, and helped to end the schism mentioned before. The sacrifices she and her fellow nuns certainly helped put the Church back on the right path to holiness. She was canonized in 1807 by Pope Pius VII.
St. Colette would like you to remember that she is praying for you, but greatly desires that you focus your prayers, petitions, and sacrifices to save the poor suffering souls in purgatory.
St. Colette, Pray for us!
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