The celebration of this 400 year old tradition every 21st of November directs our attention to Mary, the Mother of God. In thanksgiving for a fruitful beginning of the first school for girls in France in 1610, Saint Jeanne wished to consecrate the pupils to Mary. She encouraged them to make their own personal consecration in homage of their heavenly Mother, promising to imitate her in the state to which God would call them. Saint Jeanne was deeply aware that God calls each person to live their life fully in a particular vocation and thus be faithful instruments in creating God's kingdom among us all. By this celebration she emphasized that Mary is our model and companion in following the teachings of her Son, Jesus.
The celebration of this feast has a solidarity component in that the children are asked to express their care for others in need through various activities. These vary from one country to another, responding to the particular needs in each context or to situations on a worldwide level. Company of Mary devotional practices and celebrations are marked with an awareness and a reaching out to others characteristic of Company of Mary spirituality.Feast of Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac
On May 15th, 1949, the Church declared Jeanne de Lestonnac a saint. This is the recognition given a person whose life has been a witness of living in an extraordinary way the love of God and others. Jeanne's life speaks of the faithful response to God's grace in the different stages of her life: as a child, struggling to keep the flame of faith alive in difficult times; as a faithful wife for 24 years and mother of 5 children, creating a home environment of love and growth in all aspects of life; as a widow, bearing new responsibilities with trust in God's help and an ongoing search for God's will; as a religious and foundress of an Order dedicated to the integral education of children and youth, with a special focus on the needs of women. Every year on this day we celebrate the Feast of Saint Jeanne de Lestonnac in recognition of a life that serves as a model in all seasons of life. With the celebration of this feast we also recognize the dedication of all those who have made and continue to make this specific style of education possible in different countries throughout the world.