Saint François Régis, also known as Saint Jean-François Régis, was a French Jesuit priest born January 31, 1597 in Fontcouverte, Languedoc, and died December 30, 1640 in La Louvesc, Ardèche. He is famous for his missionary work in rural France in the 17th century.
Youth and training
François Régis was born into a noble and pious family. He was educated at a Jesuit college in Béziers and later studied philosophy in Toulouse. In 1616 he entered the Society of Jesus in Toulouse.
Missionary in France
After being ordained a priest in 1630, François Régis was sent as a missionary to the rural regions of Vivarais, Haute-Loire and Vivarais in France. He worked for the conversion of Protestants and heretics, as well as the reconciliation of families in conflict.
François Régis traveled for miles on foot in the mountains and valleys, often in winter, to preach the word of God. He built chapels and churches in the most remote villages and established brotherhoods to help the poor and the sick.
Miracles and canonization
François Régis is famous for the many miracles he performed, such as the healing of illnesses and the conversion of sinners. He is also known for his compassion for the poor and the sick, and for his devotion to the Virgin Mary.
After his death in 1640, François Régis was quickly venerated as a saint by the local population. He was beatified in 1716 by Pope Clement XI and canonized in 1737 by Pope Clement XII.
Legacy and devotion
Saint Francis Regis is venerated as the patron saint of missionaries, preachers, farmers and cattle herders. His feast day is celebrated on June 16.
His legacy includes his missionary work in rural areas of France, as well as his devotion to the poor and sick. He is also known for his many miracles, which strengthened the faith of Catholics in his day and continue to inspire the faithful today.
His life and work are an example of the importance of mission and charity in the Christian life. His devotion to the Virgin Mary is also an example of the central place of the Mother of God in the Catholic faith.