News Detail
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.

St. Regis was born on Jan. 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 over 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.

St. Regis passed away on Dec. 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

October 14, 2017 — The story of American-born Jesuit Father Walter Ciszek (1904-1984), who spent 23 years in Russia in Siberian labor camps and Soviet prisons.

October 10, 2017 — The Clinic has intensified its efforts in the wake of the rescission of DACA by the Trump Administration.

October 5, 2017 — Fr. Jean Denis Saint-Félix, SJ, has been named the new Secretary of the Office of Justice and Ecology at the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the U.S.

October 4, 2017 — Meet the 38 men who have answered God’s call to ministry in the Society of Jesus in the U.S., Canada and Haiti this year.

October 3, 2017 — We join the Jesuits of Puerto Rico in asking you to contact your senators and Congressional representative and ask them to deliver aid to the people of Puerto Rico.

October 3, 2017 — Today the Society of Jesus celebrates the feast of St. Francis Borgia, SJ (1510-1572), the third Superior General of the Society of Jesus.

September 29, 2017 — The Loyola Early Learning Center, the brainchild of Fr. William Watters, SJ, is a preschool dedicated to serving lower-income families in Baltimore.

view all news

Search news

Publications
Since St. Ignatius bought a printing press in 1556, the Jesuits have been involved in communications. Today the Society of Jesus publishes a number of award-winning journals and publications. Click below to access our latest issues.

America 10/2/17

America 9/18/17

America 9/04/17



Ignatian Spirituality Center
The Ignatian Spirituality Center of Kansas City offers programs in Ignatian prayer and retreats and trains lay people as spiritual directors and retreat guides.