Saint Colette, also known as Nicole Boellet, was a French nun who lived during the late Middle Ages. She is the patron saint of expectant mothers, women seeking to conceive, sick children, and childless couples. Her life was marked by numerous miraculous events and a strong devotion to God and the Virgin Mary.
Colette was born on January 13th, 1381, in the village of Corbie, in the Picardy region of France. Her parents were farmers who instilled in her a deep faith and a love for prayer. As a child, Colette was known for her piety and her desire to help the poor and the sick.
At the age of 18, Colette joined the Third Order of St. Francis, a lay community dedicated to prayer and service. She soon became dissatisfied with the laxity of the community and decided to enter the Poor Clares, a contemplative order founded by Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi. However, the Poor Clares also had become lax in their observance of their rule, so Colette resolved to reform the order and return it to its original strictness.
In 1406, Colette founded the first convent of the Colettine Poor Clares in Besançon, France. The Colettines followed a strict observance of the Franciscan Rule and were known for their poverty, their strict enclosure, and their devotion to the Passion of Christ. Colette's reforms were met with resistance from some within the order, but she persevered and established numerous other convents throughout Europe.
Colette's life was marked by numerous miraculous events. She was said to have been born without pupils, but miraculously gained her sight at the age of six. She was also known for her gift of healing the sick and her ability to discern spirits. Colette was also known for her devotion to the Virgin Mary and for her practice of fasting and mortification.
Saint Colette died on March 6th, 1447, in Ghent, Belgium, at the age of 66. Her body was found to be incorrupt when it was exhumed in 1472. She was canonized by Pope Pius VII in 1807, and her feast day is celebrated on March 6th. She continues to inspire us today with her example of prayer, poverty, and devotion to God and the Virgin Mary.