The Catholic Church has many incredible French saints. They have founded orders, converted many to Christ, and saw apparitions of Jesus and Mary.

18. St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

Avord, Farges-en-Septaine, (Cher), France – (1880-1906)

Recently canonized in 2016 by Pope Francis, St. Elizabeth was a Discalced Carmelite nun. She was a mystic and spiritual writer who popularized the devotion of recognizing the Trinity dwelling in our souls. More Info

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity
St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

17. and 16. Sts. Louis Martin and Zélie Martin

Bordeaux, Gironde, France – (1823-1894) and Saint-Denis-sur-Sarthon, Orne, France (1831-1877)

In a secularized France, Sts. Louis and Zélie raised a devout family. All five of their daughters became nuns, including St. Thérèse of Lisieux and Servant of God Françoise-Thérèse Martin. More Info

Sts. Louis Martin and Zélie Martin
Sts. Louis Martin and Zélie Martin

15. St. Peter Faber

Villaret, Duchy of Savoy Holy Roman Empire – (1506-1545)

St. Peter co-founded the Society of Jesus and became their first priest. He worked tirelessly to reform the Church and the clergy as a response to the Protestant Reformation. He was even appointed as an expert at the Council of Trent. More Info

St. Peter Faber
St. Peter Faber

14. St. Louis de Montfort

Montfort-sur-Meu, France – (1673-1716)

St. Louis was a renowned founder and preacher. He founded both the Company of Mary and the Daughters of Wisdom. His most famous works are Secret of the Rosary and True Devotion to Mary. Pope Clement XI even left him with the title of “Apostolic Missionary.” More Info

St. Louis de Montfort
St. Louis de Montfort

13. and 12. Sts. Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac

Pouy, Guyenne and Gascony, France – (1581-1660) and Le Meux, Oise, France – (1591-1660)

St. Vincent de Paul overcame slavery for two years to become one of the greatest spiritual forces in France. He founded the Congregation of the Mission and the Daughters of Charity. He co-founded the Daughters of Charity with St. Louise. France had a disorganized system of helping the poor, and these saints helped connect resources and manpower with those who needed it most. More Info

Sts. Vincent de Paul by Simon François de Tours (17th Century) and Louise de Marillac
Sts. Vincent de Paul by Simon François de Tours (17th Century) and Louise de Marillac

11. St. Francis de Sales

Château de Sales, Duchy of Savoy, Holy Roman Empire – (1567-1622)

St. Francis earned great esteem for his work as Bishop of Geneva. He introduced a loving approach to the Protestant Reformation. His book Introduction to the Devout Life spread the idea that holiness is for everyone, not just priests and religious. He founded the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary along with St. Jane Frances de Chantal. More Info

St Francis de Sales by Francisco Bayeu y Subías (18th century)
St Francis de Sales by Francisco Bayeu y Subías (18th century)

10. – 9. Sts. Isaac Jogues and Jean de Brébeuf

Orléans, Orléanais, Kingdom of France – (1607-1646) and Condé-sur-Vire, Normandy, France – (1593-1649)

St. Isaac was a Jesuit missionary to the New World, reaching out to the Iroquois and Huron. The Iroquois captured him and tortured him, including gnawing his fingers and cutting his thumb off. After eventually making it back to France, he desired to return to the New World where the Mohawks would martyr him. The Iroquois tortured and killed St. Jean as well. He shocked them with his stoic courage throughout the torture. More Info

Sts. Isaac Jogues and Jean de Brébeuf by Reuben Gold (1897)
Sts. Isaac Jogues and Jean de Brébeuf by Reuben Gold (1897)

8. St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Fontaine-lès-Dijon, France – (1090-1153)

St. Bernard was a legendary preacher, reformer, and writer. His reforms of the Benedictines led to the founding of the Cistercian Order. He helped end a schism in 1130 when two popes were elected and fought heresy in the Catholic Church. The Church declared him a Doctor of the Church. More Info

St. Bernard of Clairvaux
St. Bernard of Clairvaux

7. St. Catherine Labouré

Fain-lès-Moutiers, Côte-d’Or, France – (1806-1876)

St. Catherine was a member of St. Vincent and St. Louise’s Daughters of Charity. In 1830, Mary appeared to her saying, “God wishes to charge you with a mission. You will be contradicted, but do not fear; you will have the grace to do what is necessary. Tell your spiritual director all that passes within you. Times are evil in France and in the world.” Later that year, Mary appeared in an oval with the words reading, “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.” The Church printed medals with this image: the “Miraculous Medal.” More Info

St. Catherine Labouré
St. Catherine Labouré

6. St. Bernadette Soubirous

Lourdes, Hautes-Pyrénées, France – (1844-1877)

A woman appeared to St. Bernadette in her small town of Lourdes in southwest France. She called herself the “Immaculate Conception.” These apparitions continued many times in 1858. The Church built a shrine at this site, visiting by millions every year. More Info

St. Bernadette Soubirous (c. 1858)
St. Bernadette Soubirous (c. 1858)

5. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

L’Hautecour, Duchy of Burgundy, France – (1647-1690)

In 1673, Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary and let her rest her head on His Heart. He told her that He desired for the whole world to know His deep love. These Church eventually found these apparitions to be authentic. Jesus described the nature of the modern Sacred Heart devotion. More Info

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque by Armand Cambon
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque by Armand Cambon

4. St. Joan of Arc

Domrémy, Duchy of Bar, France – (c. 1412-1431)

Joan, a peasant girl, received visions of St. Michael the Archangel, St. Margaret, and St. Catherine of Alexandria to rise up and help the French defeat the English in the Hundred Years’ War. After much convincing, her help led to an eventual French victory. She was captured and sentenced to death by a pro-English bishop. The Catholic Church negated the charges 25 years later. More Info

Joan of Arc's Death at the Stake - by Hermann Anton Stilke (1843)
Joan of Arc’s Death at the Stake – by Hermann Anton Stilke (1843)

3. St. John Vianney

Dardilly, Lyonnais, Kingdom of France – (1786-1859)

As he grew up in in the late 1700s, St. John had to receive the sacraments from priests in hiding. After Napoleon re-established the Church in 1802, he pursued the priesthood. He struggled in school and kept avoiding forced military service. Once he finally became a priest, he was assigned to Ars: a town of 230 people. The town barely cared about the faith due to the French Revolution’s toll. Through his prayer and sacraments, St. John Vianney renewed the Church both in the area and the country. He is the patron saint of parish priests. More Info

St. John Vianney
St. John Vianney

2. St. Louis IX

Poissy, France – (1214-1270)

Louis IX reigned over many, defending the country in wars and reforming the justice system. Most importantly, he was an extremely devout Catholic. He is the only French monarch to be canonized. His mother used to say, “I love you, my dear son, as much as a mother can love her child; but I would rather see you dead at my feet than that you should ever commit a mortal sin.” More Info

St. Louis IX by Auguste de Creus (1837)
St. Louis IX by Auguste de Creus (1837)

1. St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Alençon, Orne, France – (1873-1897)

Thérèse is one of the most popular saints in the history of the Catholic Church. She overcame many obstacles to become a Carmelite nun at the age of 15. She is famous for her “Little Way,” where one does everything out of great love. Thérèse describes herself as the “Little Flower” that sits back and lets Jesus love her. Her approach is simple and practical. In 1997, St. John Paul II gave her the title of “Doctor of the Church.” She is the youngest Doctor of the Church ever. More Info

St Thérèse of Lisieux
St Thérèse of Lisieux