Tag Archives: Order of the Visitation

St Francis deSales

That today we honor the memory of St Francis deSales one cannot forget the complement he had with St Jane Frances deChantal.

DeSales was the renowned bishop of Geneva where he lived his vocation with great love for the people entrusted to his care.

The Introduction to the Devout Life is an important text to consider reading, and to re-read over your lifetime. In the beginning of The Introduction to the Devout Life, he calls out to all Christians: “Live Jesus! Live Jesus! Yes, Lord Jesus, live and reign in our hearts for ever and ever. Amen.”

This idea to “Live Jesus!” is the very heart of the doctrine of the saintly bishop. He says so himself. “I have desired above all things to engrave and inscribe this holy and sacred word upon your heart: Live Jesus!”

In what ways will we life Jesus?

In the image we see St. Francis De Sales giving St. Jane de Chantal the Rule of the Order of the Visitation.

Leonie Martin

Sr. Françoise-ThérèseEarlier this week the postulator of the cause of canonization of Leonie Martin –nun of the Order of the Visitation,  the daughter of Saints Zelie and Louis Martin, sister of Saint Thérèse, published an update on his recent work. The mortal remains of Sister Leonie was disinterred, given a new habit of the Visitation and placed in a glass coffin. Sister Leonie’s face was face was covered by a mask and work was done to stave-off the further decomposition. It is expected that the body of Sister Leonie will be entomb in the Chapel of the Visitation Monastery.

This is a supreme example where we help each other become saints. A significant grace of God! On this blog, and read elsewhere, it is frequently said that saints-beget-saints. How else could you explain how Sister Françoise-Thérèse’s parents and sister are saints and their influence on this member of her biological family?

There is a book entitled, 15 Days of Prayer with Leonie Martin. The book is only in French at the moment but this would be the title in English.

Let us pray for the canonization of the Servant of God Sister Françoise-Thérèse.

Saint Jane Frances de Chantal

St Jane de Chantal“Should you fall even fifty times a day, never on any account should that surprise or worry you. Instead, ever so gently set your heart back in the right direction and practice the opposite virtue, all the time speaking words of love and trust to our Lord after you have committed a thousand faults, as much as if you had committed only one. Once we have humbled ourselves for the faults God allows us to become aware of in ourselves, we must forget them and go forward.”

Many of us have few personal connections with Saint Jane Frances (1572-1641) as the holy foundress –and the co-founder Saint Francis deSales– of the Order of the Visitation in 1610.. A native of Dijon, France, Jane Frances was a wife and mother and who united her sufferings with the Heart of Jesus.

There are monasteries of the Order of the Visitation around like the Georgetown Visitation, the Tyrringham Visitation, the Toledo Visitation, or the Brooklyn Visitation. In 2010, the Order celebrated 400 years of monastic witness and began a new era in their holy vocation.

The impression one gets from the Visitation Order is that while being serious contemplatives their stamina for a more traditional form of life is different and no less holy and inviting; the Visitation has a certain suppleness of life that is not easily explained –it needs to be experienced. The journey of a nun of the Visitation is accompanied with these words of the foundress: “Daughters of the Gospel, established especially to be imitators of the Sacred Heart of the Word Incarnate in His gentleness and humility. These virtues are, as it were, the foundation and basis of their Order, giving them the incomparable grace and privilege of bearing the title of Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”

Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, pray for us!

Saint Jane Frances de Chantal

Jane Frances and Francis de SalesSaint Jane Frances de Chantal (1572 – 1641), wife, mother, and foundress of the Order of the Visitation. She had the assistance of Saint Francis de Sales with the Visitation. Saint Jane Frances is among the few saints that we know who is wife, mother and foundress. Many vocations in one person.

Holy Mother Saint Jane Frances said: “Give God a free hand to do as He likes, while you look on in loving simplicity.”

Saints beget saints. Here is a good example. Saint Vincent de Paul, a friend and spiritual director of the saint’s, said this about her:

“She was full of faith, yet all her life had been tormented by thoughts against it. While apparently enjoying the peace and easiness of mind of souls who have reached a high state of virtue, she suffered such interior trials that she often told me her mind was so filled with all sorts of temptations and abominations that she had to strive not to look within herself…But for all that suffering her face never lost its serenity, nor did she once relax in the fidelity God asked of her. And so I regard her as one of the holiest souls I have ever met on this earth.”

Saints in one family

Leonie MartinA while ago I borrowed a phrase: saints beget saints. This seems to be VERY  true –even, and most importantly, in families. Of course, there there are many good examples of family members being raised to the honor of the altar. We need more witnesses to Christ Jesus as saints.

On January 25, 2015 -news was received that another member of the famous Martin family will be studied for a proposal for beatification and canonization. In history she was known as Léonie  Martin, in religion she took the name of Sister Françoise-Thérèse. She was the daughter of Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin and  the sister of St. Thérèse of Lisieux.

Sister Françoise-Thérèse was a professed member of the Monastery of the Visitation at Caen, France, where she died in 1941 at the age of 78.

The story:  The opening of the diocesan process for Leonie’s sainthood is to be announced in France today.  

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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