Born into a prosperous middle-class family in Boulogne, France, Benedict Joseph attempted to enter three different religious orders: the Trappists, the Carthusians, and the Cistercians. Denied entrance because of his health, he went on a barefoot pilgrimage to all the Christian shrines in Europe. Intending to live as a hermit out in the world, he depended on divine providence for his meals and slept in the streets. He died seven years later on the steps of a Roman church.
Other Patronages: mental illness; beggars, pilgrims; bachelors, people rejected by religious orders