Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Saint Jane Frances De Chantal
Jane was born in Dijon, in France. Her father was a devout man and brought up his children well after the death of his wife.
Jane, whom he dearly loved, married Christopher, the baron de Chantal. Jane and Christopher loved each other very much. God blessed them with six children, four of whom lived. Jane showed her love for God by loving her husband and children with her whole heart.
Then, suddenly, that happy home suddenly became sad. Baron Christopher was accidentally shot by a friend who had gone hunting with him. When he died, Jane was heart-broken. She forgave the man who had caused his death and even became his child's godmother. Jane asked the Lord to send a holy priest into her life to guide her. In the meantime, she prayed and brought up her children in the love of God. She visited the poor and the sick and comforted the dying.
When she met Saint Francis de Sales, she knew this was the holy man God had sent to guide her. We celebrate his feast on January 24. Under his guidance, Jane and three other young women started the order of the Visitation. But first, she had to make sure that her children, although older, were settled.
Although she had other responsibilities and challenges, Jane tried to follow God's plan as she saw it, no matter how difficult. Jane faced all the difficulties with courage. She opened up many convents and prayed to God for help when she was tempted to do wrong.
St. Vincent de Paul, wrote "Despite all her suffering, her face never lost its peaceful look. And she was always faithful to God. So I consider her one of the holiest souls I have ever met."
St. Jane died on December 13, 1641. We celebrate her feast day on August 18th.