Five things you should probably know about St. John Francis Regis
You probably know that John Francis Regis was a 17th century Jesuit saint from southern France. You may even remember that he worked with the marginalized. But if you plan on winning the next St. Regis trivia contest, you’ll need to know a bit more than that. No worries. We’ve got you covered. Here are five things you probably should know about this fascinating and fervent saint.
Regis is the patron saint of lacemakers, a title that sounds frilly (pun intended) and innocuous. But the truth is that Regis worked with vulnerable women and orphans, many of whom were at risk of being forced into prostitution. He established safe houses for them and boldly stood up to those who would exploit them. He helped many become trained lacemakers, earning him the not-so-frilly title.
People would come in droves to hear Regis preach. Known for his simple, direct style, Regis spoke with a heartfelt conviction that captivated audiences.
Regis was known as a tireless worker. He walked from town to town in rough mountainous areas where travel was difficult, especially in the winter, in order to serve the poor in remote parishes. His compatriots were awed by his ability to travel long distances, preach and hear confessions with little rest.
Above all things, Regis desired to serve God. He saw comfort and material possessions as hindrances to his mission. It is said that he slept on the floor and took little other than milk and fruit for his meals.
Regis' name lives on across the world. Besides your favorite University, there are a number of colleges, high schools, churches, buildings, lakes and even a mountain named for the intrepid saint.
Celebrate Regis University’s namesake at the 3rd annual Regis Day on Friday, June 13.