St. Jane de Chantal

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Joined July 2017

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Artist's Description

St. Jane de Chantal’s life saw a lot of pain and conflict, but her faith was never shaken as she loved and trusted in God. When she was 18 months old, her mother died, leaving only her father, head of parliament at Dijon, to raise her. Jane developed into a woman of beauty and refinement, lively and cheerful in temperament. At 21, she married Baron de Chantal. She restored order in her castle with the custom of daily Mass, and was seriously engaged in various charitable works.

Her husband was accidentally killed after just seven years of marriage, which left her a widow at twenty-eight, with four children. She was heartbroken and took a vow of chastity. She prayed that God would send her a guide, who He revealed to her in a vision – a spiritual director named Francis. When she was 32, Jane met Saint Francis de Sales, who became her spiritual director, softening some of the severities imposed by her former director.

After three years, Francis told Jane of his plan to found an institute of women that would be a haven for those whose health, age, or other considerations barred them from entering the already established communities. There would be no cloister, and they would be free to undertake spiritual and corporal works of mercy. They were primarily intended to exemplify the virtues of Mary at the Visitation.

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