About St Colette Image

St. Colette (Saint Colette of Corbie), was a French abbess who founded the Colettine Poor Clares, a reform branch of the Order of Saint Clare. She zealously reformed the Poor Clares to adhere more rigorously to the Franciscan Rule.

Read the full St Colette novena on the novena page. You can also learn more about novenas here.

What is St Colette Known for?

Nicolette Boellet (the future St Colette) was born on January 13, 1381, in Corbie, Picardy, France, to a faithful Catholic couple.

Her parents were advanced in age, in their sixties, and had prayed to St. Nicholas for a long time in hopes of conceiving. This was the reason that they named her Nicolette, in honor of St. Nicholas.

Her parents died when she was a teenager, and after giving her inheritance away, at the age of 18, Colette joined the Beguines, a religious movement that emphasized a life of simplicity, charity, and prayer. However, she felt a calling to a more structured religious life and later joined the Third Order of St. Francis. She lived alone in a cell during this time.

St. Colette was known for her strong desire to live a life of strict observance of the Franciscan Rule. She believed in a return to the original spirit and austerity of the rule set forth by St. Francis of Assisi. Colette sought permission from the Pope to reform the Poor Clare monasteries, which were founded based on the principles of St. Clare of Assisi.

St. Colette founded the Colettine Poor Clares, a stricter branch of the Poor Clares order, in 1410. They followed a more rigorous lifestyle, emphasizing poverty, manual labor, and a stricter adherence to the Franciscan Rule. The order spread to various monasteries across Europe.

St Colette received mystical visions of Christ’s Passion, was given ecstasies, and even prophesied her own death in her convent at Ghent, Belgium.

She died on March 6, 1447, in Ghent, Belgium.

St Colette was beatified on January 23rd, 1740 by Pope Clement XII. St Colette was canonized on May 24th, 1807 by Pope Pius VII.