Saturday 12 August 2017

# Saints

Saint Jane Frances de Chantal

The 12th of August is the feast day of Saint Jane de Chantal. She is the patron saint of forgotten people; in-law problems; loss of parents; parents separated from children; and widows.

Saint Jane or Jeanne Frances de Chantal lived between 1572 and 1641 and was born in Dijon, France, a daughter of the president of parliament. She married a baron at the age of 21 and had six children. She gave alms to the poor and had daily Mass said in her castle. Her husband was killed in an accident only seven years after they got married. She then lived with her ill-tempered father-in-law for another seven years, hoping to protect the estate for her children. She prayed for a spiritual director and saw Saint Francis de Sales in a vision and when she was 32 finally met him. She made a vow of chastity and obedience to his direction while at the same time continued to provide for her children. After her family obligations ended at the age of 45, both Saints Jane de Chantel and Francis de Sales founded a religious order for women. They were known as the Congregation of the Visitation, using the example of Our Lady during the Visitation. The Congregation accepted women who were rejected from other religious orders either due to age or illness and were known for active charitable works. Many prominent people came to ask for her counsel and she met many trials, watching her close family and friends die. She travelled much and found 86 Visitation houses by the time she died.