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Saint of the Day for 12 August: Saint Jeanne Frances de Chantal

Unconditional love and sacrifice, a path to holiness at the heart of family and community


Jeanne-Françoise Frémyot




23 January 1572, Dijon, France


13 December 1641, Moulins, France


12 August


2004 edition


21 November 1751, Rome, Pope Benedict XIV


16 July 1767, Rome, Pope Clement III


O glorious Saint Joan Frances, by fervent prayer, by attention to the Divine Presence, and by purity of intention, you attained on earth an intimate union with God. Be now our advocate, our mother, and our guide on the path of virtue and perfection. Plead our cause with Jesus, Mary and Joseph, to whom you were so tenderly devoted, and whose holy virtues you so closely imitated. Obtain for us, O loving and compassionate Saint, the virtues you deem most necessary for us: an ardent love for Jesus in the most holy Sacrament, a tender and filial trust in His most holy Mother, and, like you, a constant remembrance of His holy Passion and death. Grant us also, we pray Thee, that our particular intention for this novena may be granted to us. So be it. Amen.

Roman Martyrology

Saint Jeanne Françoise Frémiot de Chantal, nun: from her Christian marriage she had six children, whom she educated in piety; widowed, she travelled the path of perfection with alacrity under the guidance of Saint Francis de Sales, dedicating herself to works of charity, especially towards the poor and the sick; she started the Order of the Visitation of Saint Mary, which she also wisely directed. His transit at Moulins on the banks of the Allier near Nevers in France falls on 13th December.


The Saint and Mission

Saint Jeanne Frances de Chantal is a figure who exemplifies the ideal of the Christian mission lived out in daily life. Mother, widow, and finally foundress of a religious order, her life is a testimony to the fact that the mission to love and serve God can be pursued in all circumstances of life.

Joan Frances lost her mother when she was very young, and later also her husband. Despite these painful losses, she maintained a strong commitment to the mission of educating her children according to Christian principles. Her dedication to the welfare of her children shows how the Christian mission can be lived out in the family, one of the most important contexts for spiritual formation.

After the death of her husband, Jeanne Frances met St Francis de Sales, and together they founded the Order of the Visitation. This order was dedicated to the service of the sick and the poor, reflecting the evangelical ideal of loving one’s neighbour as oneself. In this way, Joan Frances extended her mission beyond the family to serve the wider community.

The fact that Joan Frances founded a religious order after being a mother and widow underlines the idea that the Christian mission is not limited to a particular state of life. Regardless of circumstances, it is always possible to respond to God’s love with love, and to serve one’s neighbour with compassion and dedication.

The life of St Jeanne Frances de Chantal shows us that the Christian mission is not limited to a particular state of life or specific activities. Whether it is educating children, helping the poor or leading a religious community, every aspect of life can become a way of loving and serving God.

The Saint and Mercy

Saint Jeanne Frances de Chantal is a living expression of Christian mercy and charity. Her life, spent in the service of others and in total dedication to God, is a shining example of how mercy can be lived in all circumstances of life.

Born into a noble family in Dijon, France, in 1572, Joan Frances lost her mother at a young age and later also her husband. Despite the hardships and losses, she worked hard to educate her children and govern the family estate, showing extraordinary strength of will and mercy towards those who depended on her.

After her husband’s death, she met St Francis de Sales and, under his spiritual guidance, founded the Order of the Visitation. This order was dedicated to mercy, with an emphasis on caring for the sick and helping the poor. Joan Frances and her sisters dedicated their lives to the service of others, living the evangelical ideal of love of neighbour in a concrete and tangible way.

The life of St. Jeanne Frances de Chantal shows us how mercy can be integrated into every aspect of life, from family management to community service. Her example challenges us to live mercy not just as an occasional act of charity, but as a constant attitude that permeates every action and decision.

She founded

The Order of the Visitation, also known as the Visitandine, founded in 1610 by St. Jeanne Frances de Chantal and St. Francis de Sales, is a Catholic women’s religious order that has played a crucial role in the history of the Church. Their primary objective is to live a life of humility and authentic love, as a shining example of faith and service to others.

The mission of the Order of the Visitation is based on imitating the virtues of the Virgin Mary during the Visitation to her cousin Elizabeth. In particular, the sisters dedicate themselves to the contemplative life, prayer and the service of the poor and the sick. The order is distinguished by its commitment to combining the contemplative life with a deep commitment to charity.

A special feature of the Order of the Visitation is that, since its foundation, it has been designed to welcome women of all ages and conditions, including those who for health reasons could not join other, more rigorous orders. This spirit of inclusiveness is an expression of God’s merciful heart, which welcomes everyone regardless of their condition.

The Order of the Visitation is therefore an invitation to live the faith in a deep and personal way, combining prayer, silence, work and charity. The Visitandine Sisters show us that it is possible to lead a life of holiness and service in any condition, and that everyone can contribute to the mission of the Church according to their abilities and circumstances. Their story is an example of how God’s love can be lived and transmitted through prayer and action, offering a loving response to a world in need of mercy and compassion.


The noble Jeanne de Chantal, daughter of Benigno Fremiot, President of the Burgundian Parliament, was born on 23 January 1572 in Dijon.

President Fremiot, widowed when his children were still in their infancy, took personal charge of their education: he raised them with paternal tenderness in the principles of sane piety. Jeanne was the one who…


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