Born at Languedoc, France on Jan. 31, 1597, St. John Francis Regis is honored with a feast day on June 16. At the age of 18 he joined the Society of Jesus. He was ordained in 1630.
St. Regis specialized in hearing confessions of the downtrodden and menial servants. He taught philosophy and theology at a young age, then served those struck by the plague in Toulouse. He was known for living an austere lifestyle and comforting the poor. He also collected money and food for the unfortunate. He helped poor country girls stay away from dangerous cities by securing them positions in the lace making and embroidery trades.
Known as a successful evangelist, St. Regis traveled throughout France in the 1630s educating and converting the poor. He was controversial with other church leaders for his boldness, which some took for pride. While walking from place to place in the mountains during cold weather, he took ill with pneumonia and died on Dec. 31, 1640. Pope Clement XII canonized him in 1737.
St. Regis is the patron saint of social workers, lace makers, embroiderers and against the plague.