Jane Frances Fremiot de Chantal

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Jane de Chantal

Jane Frances Fremiot de Chantal (Jeanne-Françoise Frémiot, Baronne de Chantal) (28 January 28, 1572 – 13 December 1641) founded the Order of the Visitation of Our Lady.

When Jane was eighteen months old, her mother died. Afterwards, her father, who was president of the parliament in Burgundy, reared her alone.

She was married to Baron de Chantal in 1592. Four of the couple's six children survived. When Jane was 28 years old, her husband was fatally injured in a hunting accident. She and the children had to live with her father-in-law, which she found difficult.

Jane, who after the death of her husband had taken a vow to remain celibate, spent much time in prayer. She received a vision of the person who would become her spiritual director. When she met Francis de Sales in 1604, she recognized him as the man who had appeared in her vision.

The Order of the Visitation of Our Lady was canonically established on Trinity Sunday, 6 June 1610 in Annecy, France.

From 1622 until shortly before his death, Vincent de Paul was the ecclesiastical superior of the first monastery of the Visitation in the archdiocese of Paris. He was also spiritual director to Jane for about twenty years prior to her death. At the time of Jane's death, Vincent had just received a letter telling of that she was seriously ill. He had a vision of Jane and Frances de Sales going to heaven together; the vision recurred when he celebrated Mass after he heard of Jane's death.

Abelly: Book Two/Chapter Seven, entitled The Help Given by Monsieur Vincent to the Convents of the Religious of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Diocese of Paris While He Was Their Superior and Father, details Vincent's connection with the Order of the Visitation of Saint Mary in Paris.

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