Lestonac, Jeanne De

Lestonac, Jeanne De foundress of an order of French nuns, was born at Bordeaux in 1556. .She was the daughter of a councillor of the parliament of Bordeaux, and of Jeanne d'Eyquem of Montagne, sister of the celebrated philosopher Michel de Montague. Although her mother was a Protestant, her father and uncle made her adopt the Catholic religion. In 1573 she married Gaston de Montferrand. After the death of her husband she consecrated herself to the Virgin, and entered, in 1603, the house of the Feuillantines of Toulouse. Shortly after, Jeanne de Lestonac placed herself at the head of a society of young ladies, the greater part taken from Calvinistic families. These new nuns bore the name of Jesuitines. Cardinal de Sourdis opposed the foundation of this order, but the pope favored it and ordered its consecration, which took place, March 25, 1606, and it was confirmed by a brief of Paul V, April 7, 1607. The order grew rapidly in importance. At the time of the death of Jeanne, she had control of twenty-nine houses of Jesuitines. She died at Bordeaux, April 2, 1640. After her death some of her bones were sent to the principal convents of the order, or were used, according to some hagiographers, to perform various miracles. See Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v.

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