St Jane Frances Chantal was born in Dijon, France, on the 28th of January 1572. She had a very spiritual and religious upbringing. She married the Philippe, Baron de Chantal at the age of 20 who had inherited sufficient debts with the acquisition of the family estate. However, St Jane Frances Chantal was able to bring the finances of the estate under control. She would also attend personally to the poor who would seek food at her door.
Sadly, her husband was killed nine years into their marriage after a hunting accident and she was left a widow with four children. She found it extremely difficult to forgive the man who accidentally killed her husband until she heard a sermon from the Bishop of Geneva, St Francis de Sales. They became very good friends and St Francis de Sales would also become her spiritual director. With his assistance she founded the Congregation of the Visitation, accepting older and sick women that other congregations would reject for these very reasons. She died on the 13th of December 1641.
Quote from St Jane Frances 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.”