French Monarch, Roman Catholic Saint. Also known as Saint Jane of Valois, she was born malformed which was kept secret by her father, King Louis XI. She was betrothed to Louis, Duke of Orleans, and at this point heir presumptive to the French throne. The king wanted the line of Valois-Orleans to go extinct, and because he didn't believe that his unloved and deformed daughter could bear children she was married to the only son of Duke Charles I. When the malformation became known, Louis and his mother tried to undo the engagement but the King refused and they were married in 1476. Jeanne was deeply in love with her husband and cared for him when he was sick with small pox. Despite her loving care she was never able to overcome the dislike that Louis showed for her most of the time. They did not see each other often and only after the King’s command did they spent time together. After her father’s death her husband tried to annul the marriage and asked the Duke of Bretagne for the hand of his daughter and heir, Anne. He revolted against Charles VIII and especially the powerful regent Anne de Beaujeu. As a result he was imprisoned for three years without a trial and Anne de Beaujeu was able to arrange the marriage between Charles and Anne de Bretagne. Jeanne intervened on Louis' behalf and asked her brother to free him, after her sister had refused her request. Charles released Louis and ordered him to stop applying for an annulment of the marriage. The couple lived together for several years after that and even a bit of friendship developed between them. After her brother had died and Louis had succeeded him, the trial to annul their marriage was started and ended on December 17, 1498. She was given the Duchy of Berry and lived for the rest of her life in Bourges. One month after the divorce Louis married Anne de Bretagne. Jeanne founded, after much quarrel with the King, the Pope and other clerics, the Monastère de l'Annonciade in Bourges which she joined a year before her death. Her remains were burned during the reformation in 1562 and the ashes scattered. Soon after her death she was venerated as a saint and was beatified in 1743 by Pope Benedict XIV. Pope Pius XII canonized her on May 28, 1950. She is the second Saint Jeanne in France and the only French queen that reached sainthood.
Bio by: Lutetia