Our Patroness – Saint Jane de Chantal
Jeanne-Francoise Fremyot (1572-1641) was not only an exemplary nun, but under the direction and inspiration of St. Francis de Sales, founded an entirely new religious order in the Church, the Sisters of the Visitation of Holy Mary. She was also an exemplary Christian woman in every other state of life to which a woman can be called: virgin, wife, mother (of six), and widow.
Thus, the story of this multi-faceted woman should have an appeal to people in every walk of life. While being an exemplary practical woman, she reached at the same time such a state of sanctity that St. Vincent de Paul called her “one of the holiest souls I have ever met on this earth.”
Living in the eastern region of France, she became the Baroness of Chantal upon her marriage to Christophe de Rabutin in 1592. Following his death in 1601 and making provisions for her children, she began her new life as a religious founder at Annecy in 1610. At the time of her death, there were eighty-seven convents of the Order of the Visitation. Read more about her on the site of the Visitation Sisters.
Prayer of Abandonment
St. Jane de Chantal
O sovereign goodness of the sovereign Providence of my God!
I abandon myself forever to Thy arms.
Whether gentle or severe,
lead me henceforth whither Thou wilt;
I will not regard the way through which Thou wilt have me pass,
but keep my eyes fixed upon Thee,
my God, who guidest me.
My soul finds no rest without the arms
and the bosom of this heavenly Providence,
my true Mother, my strength and my rampart.
Therefore I resolve with Thy Divine assistance,
0 my Saviour,
to follow Thy desires and Thy ordinances,
without regarding or examining why Thou dost this rather than that;
but I will blindly follow Thee
according to Thy Divine will,
without seeking my own inclinations.
Hence I am determined to leave all to Thee,
taking no part therein save by keeping myself in peace in Thy arms,
desiring nothing except as Thou incitest me to desire,
to will, to wish.
I offer Thee this desire, 0 my God,
beseeching Thee to bless it;
I undertake all it includes,
relying on Thy goodness,
liberality, and mercy,
with entire confidence in Thee,
distrust of myself,
and knowledge of my infinite misery and infirmity.