St. Marie Magdalen Postel

Jul 16

Patron Saint of Chastity, Teenage Girls, Poverty and Forgiveness

Saint Marie Magdalen was born on November 28, 1756 in the port village of Barfluer, France, and baptized as Julia Frances Catherine Postel.

During the Middle Ages, Barfleur was one of the chief ports of embarkation for England. Her father was a fisherman, Jean Postel, and her mother’s name was Thérèse Levallois.

Saint Marie Magdalen was educated by the Benedictine nuns in nearby Valognes after her initial schooling and it was during that time that she discerned a call to serve God in the religious life. As a step forward in her vocation, she took a private vow of chastity.

At the age of 18, Postel founded a school for girls in Barfleur in 1774 that became a center for underground religious activities during the French Revolution. When the school was closed by the revolutionaries, she used the building to house fugitive priests.

Authorization was granted to her to keep the Blessed Sacrament in her house as the conflict continued and she carried it on her person at times to provide Holy Viaticum to those who were ill and at the verge of death. The Jacobins often suspected her, but never made allegations and left her alone.

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