Today I’m feasting with… Saint Jane Frances de Chantal.
The Life of Jane Frances de Chantal
Jane Frances de Chantal was born in Dijon, Burgundy, France on January 28, 1572. Her mother died when Jane was eighteen months old and since then she was very devoted to the Virgin Mary. Jane grew up to be a beautiful and cheerful young lady. When she was 21, she married Baron Christopher de Chantal and they had six children together (two of whom died as young children). Then tragedy struck, while out hunting a friend accidentally shot Christopher in the thigh. He died from an infection nine days later. Jane was grief- stricken and she felt she could not forgive the man who shot her husband. The now widowed Jane and her children moved in with her grumpy father-in-law.
While attending a Lenten service, Jane heard Bishop Francis de Sales preach about the importance of forgiveness. His message moved Jane so much that she forgave the man who had killed her husband. She even later became the godmother to the man’s son. Francis de Sales then became Jane’s spiritual director. With Francis’ help, Jane founded the Visitation nuns. They accepted the sick, elderly, and women other convents would not accept. Jane died in Moulins, France on December 13, 1641. She was beatified on November 21, 1751 by Pope Benedict XIV. Pope Clement XIII canonized her on July 16, 1767. Her feast day is August 12. Saint Jane Frances de Chantal is the patron saint of loss of children, in-law-problems, forgotten people, parents who have been separated from their children, and widows.
Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, pray for us!
To celebrate this saint’s feast day I am going to enjoy a bit of Fromager d’Affinois and French Boule bread.