St. Jane was born in Sancy, France, in 1765. Her family was poor, and her mother died when she was 16 years old, leaving Jane to take over many family responsibilities. When she was 22, Jane joined the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul in Paris, and began working among the sick in local hospitals.

During the French Revolution, many religious sisters and priests were killed. Jane was ordered to return home and take up a secular life, but she refused. When she tried to escape the authorities, she was severely beaten.

Jane finally returned to Sancy, where she resumed her work with the sick. She also opened a small school for girls, until she was forced to flee to Switzerland. From there, she went to Germany, and then back to Switzerland to found a school and hospital in 1799. She also founded a congregation, the Institute of the Daughters of St. Vincent de Paul. This community eventually expanded into France and Italy.

St. Jane died 30 years after founding her community, in 1828, of natural causes. Pope Pius XI canonized her in 1934.