Saint Colette of Corbie

English: Saint Clare of Assisi and Saint Colette (c. 1520), by the Master of Lourinhã (National Museum of Ancient Art, Lisbon, Portugal). Português: Santa Clara e Santa Coleta (c. 1520), pelo Mestre da Lourinhã (Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisboa, Portugal). Date circa 1520 Source Own work Author RickMorais

Nicole Boellet (1381 – 1447) was a miraculous birth. Her childless, elderly parents, Robert and Marguerite, prayed to Saint Nicholas that they might conceive, and lo and behold, as he often does, old Saint Nick came through. Marguerite conceived at the age of 60 (! – and yes, naturally, and with no IVF). They named the child Nicole in thanksgiving. She called ‘Nicolette’ as a diminutive, and then finally ‘Colette’.

When her parents died, Colette followed her desire for religious life, trying the Beguines and the Benedictines, but they were not strict enough for her zeal. She joined the Poor Clares, but after four years, discerned a call to a higher path. So she petitioned (anti) Pope Benedict XIII at Avignon if she might start a reform of the Poor Clares, and he agreed. (We say ‘anti-Pope’, since this was during the Great Western Schism, the era of two, then three claimants to the papacy. Although the French accepted him as the legitimate pope, it ended up he was not).

Her reform was a great success, and by the time of her death on this day of March, 6th, 1447, there were 18 houses founded, and they are still found throughout the world. Saint Colette was a miracle-worker during her life, and after her death, especially helping mothers in childbirth and sick children, even raising them from the dead, and is the patron of those couples who have trouble conceiving.

Saint Colette was canonized by Pope Pius VII on May 24, 1807.