Longsuffering Leader: the Life of St. Jane de Chantal





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Uploaded on Aug 17, 2011

http://www.visitationspirit.org - Jane Frances Frémyot de Chantal was born in 1572 in Dijon, France, the second child of a noble family. Her mother died when she was eighteen months old and she was reared by her father who gave her an extraordinary education for a young girl of her time. She was intelligent, strong-willed and full of faith in God.

In 1592, she married the Baron Christophe de Rabutin-Chantal. Jane loved her husband deeply and theirs was a happy marriage, despite Christophe's occasional infidelities. He was very much involved in court life, loved hunting and had not the slightest interest in managing his household and estates. These tasks he placed into Jane's capable hands. She proved to be a skillful administrator.

Jane and Christophe had three daughters, and one son. She also reared and educated Christophe's illegitimate daughter. In 1601, tragedy struck. She was left a widow at age 28 when Christophe was accidentally shot and killed while hunting with a friend.

Following her husband's death, Jane lived with her father-in-law, who made life very difficult for her. Nevertheless, she endured her trials, managed her father-in-law's property and saw to the spiritual and physical needs of the poor of the area.

In 1604, Jane attended a series of Lenten sermons given by the learned and charismatic new Bishop of Geneva, Francis de Sales. Jane and Frances met, and immediately formed a bond of friendship that was to produce a Gospel-based spirituality that would be a treasure to the Church for all ages.
Francis confided to Jane his desire to found a religious order that would be welcoming to women seeking a deep relationship with God, but who for one reason or another could not live with the physical rigors of traditional religious life. In 1610, the two officially established the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary.
Like Francis, Jane was a good spiritual guide. She advised her nuns on their prayer life as well as the practicalities of living in community. After Francis' death in 1622, Jane continued the work, founding eighty-six houses of the Visitation by the time of her death in 1641. She was canonized in 1767. The Church in the United States celebrates her feast on August 12.

The Visitation Order holds hidden treasures and resources for serious seekers of a deeply interior spiritual life. Whether you are a lay person interested in plunging more fully into a way of daily devotion, or even considering a possible vocation to the monastic Visitandine tradition, we invite you to walk a spiritual avenue with our Founders, Saints and Sisters into the Love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Go to VisitationSpirit.org.

(Credits: www.wikimedia.org. French castles credit: www.all-free-photos.com.)


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