Saint of the Day – 13 March – Bl Françoise Tréhet (1756-1794) Martyr, Religious Sister, Teacher, Apostle of Charity – born on 8 April 1756 in Saint-Mars-sur-la-Futaie, Mayenne, France and died by being guillotined on 13 March 1794 in Laval, Mayenne, France.
Françoise Tréhet was born on 8 April 1756 in a family of wealthy landowners, in Saint-Mars-sur-la-Futaie in Vendée. She made her vows to the Sisters of Charity and became a teacher and performed various works of charity.
In 1783, she was invited to Saint-Pierre-des-Landes to open a parish school. She was helped in this task by her sister Jeanne Véron, ten years her junior. The two nuns taught the class and assisted the sick of the parish.
With the taking of the Bastille and hate movements against the Church, the French Revolution shed the blood of the innocent, simply because they were Christians, because they refused to submit to the violent demands proposed by the powerful, unscrupulous revolutionaries who happily took advantage of their position to put into practice their visceral hatred against Christ and His Church.
France, the “eldest daughter of the Church” lived then the saddest pages of her history, yet so full of saints and blessed … But, as often said, “the blood of the martyrs is seed of Christians”, that is why the blood of all these martyrs of the French Revolution, during the period of terror, will bring to the homeland of Saint Remi and Saint Louis IX, many other glorious saints who in Paradise, serve us all.
Francoise had a strong character and a strong will. She had predicted the torments of the revolution and refused to submit to the terror. Towards the end of February 1794, the two Sisters were denounced and condemned to the guillotine.
On 13 March, Francoise appeared at the Clement Commission, of sinister memory. She was accused of hiding priests and helping underground movements. She replied that every sick person was a brother in Jesus Christ and needed her care. She refused to shout “long life to the republic”, which condemned her to death by the guillotine.
She went to the scaffold, singing the Salve Regina. She was 37 years old. The same fate struck Jeanne a week later.
St Francoise’s relics are enshrined at the church of St-Pierre-des-Landes where she had taught. The two sisters were beatified on 19 June 1955 by Servant of God Pope Pius XII. (translated from French).