Saint Joan of the Cross’ Story
Born in 1666, in Anjou, France, Joan worked in the family business—a small shop near a religious shrine—from an early age. After her parents’ death she took over the shop. She quickly became known for her greediness and insensitivity to the beggars who often came seeking help.
That was until she was touched by the strange woman who claimed she was on intimate terms with the deity. Joan was transformed. She began caring for needy children. The poor, elderly, and sick came to her. Over time, she closed the family business and devoted herself fully to good works and penance. She founded the Congregation of Saint Anne of Providence.
The downtown areas of most major cities hold a population of “street people.” Well-dressed folks usually avoid making eye contact, probably for fear of being asked for a handout. That was Joan’s attitude until the day one of them touched her heart. Most people thought the old woman was crazy, but she put Joan on the road to sainthood. Who knows what the next beggar we meet might do for us?