Reformer and Mystic. Foundress of the Poor Clares Colettine (1381-1447)
+ Nicolette Boilet was born in Corbie, France, to older parents who died before Nicolette was 17.
+ After spending time with the Beguines and the Benedictines, she failed to discover her vocation and eventually became a Franiscan tertiary and, later, an anchoress.
+ She had a vision of Saint Francis of Assisi in which he asked her to restore the original rule of the Poor Clares. To win support for this mission, she traveled to Nice, France, where she met with the anti-pope Benedict XIII (who was recognized as pope by the French during the Great Western Schism). Nicolette professed vows as a Poor Clare and received the name Colette. Benedict made her superior of all the Poor Clare monasteries in France.
+ Colette travelled from convent to convent implementing her reforms, which eventually spread to Poor Clare communities in Belgium and Spain.
+ She collaborated with Saint Vincent Ferrer in efforts to heal the schism that was devastating the Church and eventually established 17 new convents. Her reform movement led to a new branch of the Poor Clares, known as the Colettines.
+ Saint Colette died in Ghent, Belgium on March 6, 1447, and was canonized in 1807.
For prayer and reflection
“If there be a true way that leads to the Everlasting Kingdom, it is most certainly that of suffering patiently endured.”—Saint Colette
To learn about the communities of Poor Clare Colettine nuns in the United States visit the links below.
-Corpus Christi Monastery (Rockford, IL): www.rockfordpoorclares.org
-Annunciation Monastery (Minooka, IL): www.poorclaresjoliet.org
-Monastery of the Blessed Sacrament (Cleveland, OH): www.pcc-cle.org
-Bethlehem Monastery (Barhamsville, VA): www.poor-clares.org
God, our Father, you set Saint Colette as an example and leader of evangelical perfection for many virgins. Grant that the spirit of Saint Francis which she wisely taught and wondrously confirmed by her holy example, may ever abide in us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(From The Roman Franciscan Sacramentary )
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.