A Tireless Saint from Southern France St. Jean-Francois Regis was a Jesuit priest and saint who was born on Jan. 31, 1597, in southern France. He entered the Society of Jesus at age 19, and was ordained a priest in 1630. John Francis Regis was a tireless worker who spent most of his life serving the marginalized. He walked from town to town, in rough mountainous areas where travel was difficult, especially in the winter. He would remain in a parish several days giving sermons that were simple, but sincere, and flowed from the heart. He heard confessions, celebrated Mass and catechized children. He also visited prisons and collected food and clothes for the poor. Regis is most famous for his work with at-risk women and orphans, for whom he established safe houses and found jobs. He helped many become trained lace makers, which provided them with a stable income, and an opportunity to maintain their humanity under the threat of exploitation. For this service he is known as the patron saint of lace makers. Regis passed away in 1640 while serving a mission and was declared a saint in 1738. Regis Societies were formed throughout France and focused on outreach to the poor and teaching in rural areas. Today, Regis' name lives on across the world. There is a St. Regis Lake, Mount St. Regis, Regis High School (Manhattan and Denver), St. Regis Hotels, St. Regis apartments, St. Regis swimming pools and Regis hairstylists.