Collection: St. Jane de Chantal
ARTIST: Br. Mickey McGrath, OSFS
Prayer to St. Jane de Chantal O Holy Mother of the children of God! When shall I rest in your immortal arms? Our souls should be wholly consumed by this desire. But I will restrain myself and peacefully await the hour which the divine Savior has destined for me, to overwhelm me with that bliss. In the meantime let us have only one desire, to please Him by doing His holy will in all things. What God wishes for us, let it be done: we are His for time and eternity. Amen.
Her feast day is August 12.
St. Jane was born to nobility, the daughter of the president of the Parliment of Burgundy who raised her alone after the death of her mother when Jane was 18 months old. She married in 1592 at age twenty to Baron de Chantal. St. Jane was the Mother of four children. She was widowed at 28 when the Baron was killed in a hunting accident and died in her arms.
Taking a personal vow of chastity, she was forced to live with her father-in-law, which was a period of misery for her. She spent her free time in prayer, and received a vision of the man who would become her spiritual director. In Lent, 1604, she met Saint Francis de Sales, and recognized him as the man in her vision. She became a spiritual student and close friend of Saint Francis, and the two carried on a lengthy correspondence for years.
On Trinity Sunday, 6 June 1610 she founded the Order of the Visitation of Our Lady at Annecy, France. The Order was designed for widows and laywomen who did not wish the full life of the orders, and oversaw the founding of 69 convents. Jane spent the rest of her days overseeing the Order, and acting as spiritual advisor to any who desired her wisdom. Visitationist nuns today live a contemplative life, work for women with poor health and widows, and sometimes run schools.
Born: January 28, 1572 at Dijon, Burgundy, France
Died: December 13, 1641 at the Visitation Convent, Moulins, France; relics at Annecy, Savoy
Beatified: November 21, 1751 by Pope Benedict XIV
Canonized: July 16, 1767
When shall it be that we shall taste the sweetness of the Divine Will in all that happens to us, considering in everything only His good pleasure, by whom it is certain that adversity is sent with as much love as prosperity, and as much for our good? When shall we cast ourselves undeservedly into the arms of our most loving Father in Heaven, leaving to Him the care of ourselves and of our affairs, and reserving only the desire of pleasing Him, and of serving Him well in all that we can?
Hold your eyes on God and leave the doing to him. That is all the doing you have to worry about.
She was full of faith, and yet all her life long she had been tormented by thoughts against it. Nor did she once relax in the fidelity God asked of her. And so I regard her as one of the holiest souls I have ever met on this earth.
—Saint Vincent de Paul