1792 – 1879
Born in Brittany, in France, Jeanne was four when her fisherman father died. Her mother supported six children as a farm laborer. Jeanne became a kitchen maid at 16, and her mistress took her on visits to the sick and poor. She joined a third order at 25, working in a hospital for six years, then returned to domestic service. Soon, however, she began devoting herself entirely to care of the poor, especially widows, living in community with two other women. Though she established the Little Sisters of the Poor in 1842, she was not recognized as the order’s founder until 1893. Canonized in 2009, she is considered a patron of the elderly.