Monday, October 6, 2014

St. Jane de Chantal

St. Jane Frances de Chantal was born in France in 1572. She married the Baron de Chantal in 1593 and lived in a castle. Her husband died in a hunting accident in 1601. She continued to manage the estate and care for the local needy.

During Lent in 1604, she met St. Francis de Sales, and he became her spiritual director. (After de Sales’ death, St. Vincent de Paul served as her spiritual director.) In 1610, after setting up support for her children, she left for Annecy where she established the Congregation of the Visitation. The order accepted women who had been turned down from other orders due to health or age. In its early years, the order did lots of public outreach, but there was opposition to a public female ministry, so Francis de Sales made it a cloistered community.

St. Jane Frances de Chantal died in 1641. Her feast day is August 12. She is patron of the forgotten, those with in-law problems, and parents separated from their children.

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