News
Society of Jesus Celebrates Feast of St. John Francis Regis, SJ

June 16, 2017 — Today is the feast day of St. John Francis Regis, a 17th-century French Jesuit known for his zealous missionary efforts and his care for the poor and marginalized, especially at-risk women and orphans.

Saint Regis was born on January 31, 1597, in southern France to a wealthy merchant father and a mother descended from nobility. Educated by the Jesuits from the age of 14, he entered the Society of Jesus in December 1616 at age 19. He was ordained a priest in 1630 at age 34.

In 1632, St. Regis received his assignment as a missionary to the French Protestants — known as Huguenots — as well as the country's lapsed Catholics and others in need of evangelization. This work spanned both a broad geographical distance and a wide social spectrum — he preached the Gospel to children, the poor, prisoners, and others forgotten by society in more than 50 districts of France. He lived off apples, bread, and whatever came to hand, preferring to spend his time preaching, teaching, and hearing confessions.

His best-known work involved helping women escape prostitution by establishing safe houses for prostitutes who wished to leave the business and helping them find other jobs. He helped many become trained lace makers, which provided them with a stable income. Thus, he is known as the patron saint of lace makers.

Saint Regis passed away on December 31, 1640, at age 43. He had been suffering from a lung ailment but insisted on preaching a parish mission and hearing confessions. A penitent found him unconscious in the confessional, and he was revived long enough to receive last rites before dying. His last words were “Jesus, my Savior, I recommend my soul to you.”

Hailed as a confessor of the faith and a model for Jesuit missionaries, St. Regis was beatified on May 24, 1716, by Pope Clement XI and canonized on June 16, 1737, by Pope Clement XII.

After his death, Regis Societies were formed throughout France and focused on outreach to the poor and teaching in rural areas. Today, St. Regis' name lives on across the world. There is a St. Regis Lake, Mount St. Regis, Regis High School (in both Manhattan and Denver), Regis University in Denver, and St. Regis Hotels.

[Sources: Regis University, Catholic News Agency, Saints.SQPN.comNew Advent, American Catholic]





Recent News

June 22, 2018 — A passionate, committed leader is sought by the board of directors of Red Cloud to guide a wide range of institutional efforts to empower Oglala Lakota youth, families, and community members through culturally-relevant education, arts-based programming, and spiritual formation.

June 21, 2018 — Pat Lofton, 52, principal of St. Thomas More Catholic School in St. Paul, received the National Catholic Board on Full Inclusion’s Dandy Award last month.

June 19, 2018 — The Midwest Jesuits placed in seven different categories at the 2018 Catholic Press Association Awards, including four first-place wins.

June 18, 2018 — Nearly 600 U.S. Catholic organizations declared that they are “still in” to support the Paris Agreement.

June 18, 2018 — Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. George R. Menke, SJ, who was called to eternal life on June 15, 2018. George died at the Brebeuf Jesuit Community in Indianapolis. He was 75 years old, a Jesuit for fifty-seven years, and a priest for over forty years.

The call to ministry for Fr. Dennis Ahern, SJ, can be traced to his days at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati. “I could not help but notice that the Jesuits, who worked very hard, also laughed a lot and enjoyed so much about their lives – like playing basketball on gym nights,” he recalls.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Jesuits Spring 2018

Jesuits Fall/Winter 2017

Jesuits Summer 2017



Demontreville Jesuit Retreat House
The Demontreville Jesuit Retreat House is located on the shores of Lake De Montreville in Lake Elmo, Minn.