Prayers, Quips and Quotes: St. Jane Frances de Chantal, Feast Day August 12




St. Jane Frances de Chantal Public Domain Image
St. Jane Frances de Chantal
Public Domain Image

The feast day of St. Jane Frances de Chantal is celebrated on August 12. Jane was born on Jan. 18 1572 in Dijon, France. She was born into a family of nobility. Her father was the president of the parliament of Burgundy. At the age of 29 she married Baron Christophe de Chantal. Their marriage lasted seven years during which they had three daughters and a son. Jane became a widow when Christophe died tragically in a hunting accident when Jane was 28 years old. Although her husband forgave the man who shot him, Jane struggled for a long time to forgive him. With time and God’s grace she was finally able to do so. Because she was able to forgive him, she became the godmother of his child.

To support her children, Jane moved home with her father in law. For seven years she managed his estate bearing patiently his abusive behavior. Jane turned to God for guidance. In a vision she saw the person who was meant to be her spiritual director. When she met St. Francis de Sales while he was preaching she recognized him as the person in her vision. He soon became her spiritual director. They corresponded by letter. Many of the letters have survived.

With the guidance of St. Francis de Sales, Jane opened the Congregation of the Visitation in 1610. They focused on uniting their will to the will of God; trusting in Him and seeking to please Him. After the death of St. Francis de Sales, St. Vincent de Paul became her spiritual director. By the time of her death 86 convents were opened. The Order welcomed women who had been rejected from entering other orders due to health and age. When St. Jane died at the age of 69 she was known for her sanctity. She was credited with miracles before and after her death. St. Jane was canonized in 1767.

 

We should throw ourselves into God as

a little drop of water into the sea,

and lose ourselves indeed,

in the ocean of the divine goodness.

 

Quote of St. Jane Frances de Chantal

 

August is the Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

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