St Jeanne of the Cross Delanoue

(Foundress of the Sisters of Saint Anne of Providence of Saumur) (entered heaven this day in 1736)

Dear Jeannie,

Let me get this straight.  You have discovered your talent for making money and running a business, so you think you need to put your faith on the back burner for a while?  That is one of the most ludicrous things I have read in the last I-don’-know-how-many years, at least however long I have been cooped up in this drab cubicle (or should I say cubed up).  If God has endowed you with the talents necessary for making money and running businesses, do you really think he would do so in order to drive you AWAY from him? ABSURD! Maybe you’re good at money-making, but you’re floundering in the sense-making department right now.  Maybe the example of today’s saint will help straighten out your logic.

Born in the town of Saumur in eastern France, Jeanne was only six years old when her dad passed away.  So from that early age she began helping her mother run their family religious goods store to keep food on the table.  She proved to be prodigious in her energy, acumen, and business sense. When she got a little bit older, she took over the business and made it one of the most prosperous in the area.  After her mother’s death, when Jeanne was 27, she met a holy pilgrim who happened to be passing through the town. The old lady got to know Jeanne and invited her to begin serving the many poor of the area.  The pilgrim passed on, but the idea stuck with the young business woman. So in her free times she began bringing food and clothing to the poor, and tending the sick. She put the same intelligence and zest into her charitable work as she had put into her business, and soon the poor were not waiting for her to come to them, they were going to her.  She spent more and more time helping the poor, and less and less time behind the cash register. Soon she decided to dedicate herself completely to charitable works, and she gathered a group of other capable young women around her to help.

They started small, but soon homes for the poor, schools, and orphanages were popping up all over the region, under the tenacious, loving, and shrewd guidance of Jeanne and her sisters.  By the time she passed way, a dozen communities of the Sisters of St Anne of Providence of Saumur were overseeing twice as many works of charity.

So you see, my gifted young niece, there is no division between your talents and your faith, at least there shouldn’t be.  You just need to find the best way to combine them. Be creative. After all, there are businesses, and there are businesses; some have good returns for a while here on earth, and others keep pumping out returns for all eternity.

Your devoted uncle, Eddy

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