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Saint Jeanne de Chantal


Also known as Jane Frances of Chantel, Jane Frances Fremiot de Chantal

Memorial 12 December 18 August (United States) formerly 21 August

Profile Born to the nobility, the daughter of the president of the Parliment of Burgundy who raised her alone after the death of her mother when Jeanne was 18 months old. Married in 1592 at age twenty to Baron de Chantal. Mother of four. 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. Jeanne 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 28 January 1572 at Dijon, Burgundy, France

Died 13 December 1641 at the Visitation Convent, Moulins, France relics at Annecy, Savoy

Beatified 21 November 1751 by Pope Benedict XIV

Canonized 16 July 1767

Patronage forgotten people, in-law problems, loss of parents, parents separated from children, widows

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