Tag Archives: St. Francis de Sales

First Federation of the Visitation Order Elect New President & Council

We have just celebrated the Feast Day of St. Jane Frances de Chantal on Saturday, so it is wonderful to learn of the recent election results from the Assembly of the First Federation of the Order of the Visitation held  on July 26-28, 2017.

Meeting at the Visitation Monastery in Rockville, Virginia, the Assembly participants elected a new Federation President and Council. Sister Sharon Elizabeth (Toledo, OH) was elected Federation President. She will be assisted by her Council comprised of Mother Rose Marie (Mobile, AL), Mother Marie de Sales (Toledo, OH), Sr. Mary Emmanuel (Tyringham, MA) and Sr. Frances Marie (Rockville, VA). Mother Miriam Rose (Tyringham, MA) and Mother Teresa Maria (Snellvile, GA) were elected as alternate councilors.

St. Jane Frances was the co-foundress of the Order of the Visitation along with St. Francis de Sales. Founded in 1610,  in Annecy, Savoy (France), their desire was “to give to God daughters of prayer, and souls so interior that they may be found worthy to serve His infinite majesty and to adore Him in spirit and in truth.”

The Visitation Order was founded for women who could not handle the austerities of the traditional cloistered life but who truly had a call from God to give themselves entirely to God as a spouse of Christ. They also traditionally accept belated vocations (check each community for the information).

It is sometimes forgotten that St. Thérèse of Lisieux had a fifth sister, Léonie, who was not a Carmelite. Léonie was a difficult child and a poor student who nevertheless desired to enter religious life. Her mother once wrote that unless a miracle was worked, “my Léonie will never enter a religious community.” St. Thérèse predicted that after her death, Léonie would enter the Visitation Order and take her name and that of St. Francis de Sales. Indeed it came to pass. Léonie’s name in religion was Sr. Françoise-Thérèse  and her cause for canonization was opened in  Caen, France on July 2, 2016, the anniversary of her profession (1900).

The six monasteries of the First Federation (which are cloistered) are located in Mobile, AL, Snellville, GA, Rockville, VA, Philadelphia, PA, Tyringham, MA and Toledo, OH.  The four highlighted are IRL affiliates.


The Gallery Community

The first Visitation monastery in the United States was founded in Georgetown, Washington, DC, in the late 1700’s. On June 6, 2013, this monastic foundation established a new community called the Saint Jane de Chantal Gallery Community.

When the Visitation Order was founded on June 6, 1610, by St. Jane de Chantal and St. Francis de Sales, it had its beginnings in Annecy, France, in a house nicknamed “La Galerie” because a “gallery” ran along one side of their new monastery.

The purpose of the new Gallery community is to invoke the Holy Spirit and pray that the blessings of vocations may come to the Visitation family for the glory of God and for the benefit of God’s people.  The Gallery community is an opportunity for young women “to experience our monastic way of life as handed down to us in the spirit of our charism…As a monastic, contemplative community the sisters of the Gallery Community will be faithful to their lives of prayer, their Constitutions and the Spiritual Directory placed in the hands of their Holy Mother, Saint Jane de Chantal, by Saint Francis de Sales on June 6, 1610, Trinity Sunday.”

In this Year of Faith, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI encourages everyone to rediscover and retrace the history of our Faith. By embracing with new fervor their founding charism and way of life, the Visitation sisters believe that this will once again attract women who wish to single-heartedly follow after the Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

It was Saint Francis de Sales’ hope that the Visitation nuns be “daughters of prayer in the Church and daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.” It was St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a Visitation nun, who received the revelations of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
For more information, visit their website!

Chantal Artisans

In May, we will see the ordination of many men to the priesthood. Are you looking for a special gift to give one of these newly-ordained men? Is your Pastor having a Jubilee or Anniversary of Ordination? Would you like to remember a loved one by donating a vestment in his or her memory? Something magnificent  to consider are beautiful vestments created by the Sisters of the Visitation of Holy Mary in Tyringham, Massachusetts.

The monastery belongs to the illustrious Visitation Order that was founded by St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal in France in 1610.  They were unique for their time in not practicing severe penances. Rather they are called to “interior renunciations, great simplicity and joy in the common life.” Even though they are a contemplative, cloistered Order, they welcome individual women retreatants, giving priority to those who are considering a vocation.

The sisters sing the Liturgy of the Hours five times each day and have special mission entrusted to them of prayerfully  spreading devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Visitation Monastery in Tyringham is dedicated to the Heart of Jesus and the Heart of His Mother, Mary. Thus their monastery is called Mont Deux Coeurs or the Mount of the Two Hearts.

Sr. Gemma Maria is a master seamstress who has been practicing her craft for 40 years. She is now guiding other sisters in the design and creation of sacred vestments. Each Sister within the monastery contributes some artistic handiwork for the enjoyment of others. In order to provide for their growing community and to help to support themselves, they have brought together their creative talents to launch this endeavor.

The beauty and elegance of a well-made vestment enhances the solemnity and sacredness of the Liturgy.

We are privileged to share our artistry and our labor for the Lord with you!

For more information, visit Chantal Artisans!

Visitation Nuns 400th Anniversary Pilgrimage

Revolutions come and go, and today’s social milieu will change with the wind, but for four hundred years a group of nuns have born witness to the merciful heart of Jesus through their lives of gentleness and humility.

The Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary, founded in 1610 in France, has grown to a worldwide congregation of active and cloistered sisters, and today they can be found in nearly every country. The cloistered Visitation nuns from Toledo, Ohio, recently made a pilgrimage to Annecy, France, where the congregation was founded, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of their founding.

A new video made for the occasion captures the spirit of the Visitation and chronicles the happy excursions of the sisters in the areas once walked by their founders, St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal. The video opens with a beautiful panorama of the valley surrounding Annecy.

Delighted to See the Nuns

“We walked everywhere,” the sisters said. “Going to the basilica was always ‘up’ and a steep climb. It allowed us to meet the people who seem delighted to see this large group of nuns, and were all smiles.”

Join the sisters as they journey the next 400 years as they walk in the footsteps of St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane Frances de Chantal. The video capturing the spirit of the pilgrimage was released on January 2, 2012, and has received more than 2,500 views.

St. Francis de Sales

Today we celebrate the Feast Day of St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622) : Bishop, Evangelist and Spiritual Director.

Though he died almost 400 years ago, his words of wisdom for those desiring to deepen their spiritual life are as pertinent today as they were then. He presented a wonderful image to keep in mind on the value of  receiving of Holy Communion regularly: “As the hares living in our snowy mountains grow white from living in the snow, so by perpetually worshiping and adoring beauty, goodness and purity in this Divine Sacrament, you, too, will become beautiful, good and pure” (An Introduction to the Devout Life).

St. Francis de Sales, pray for us and for the Church.

Visitation Sisters Rejoice in Worldwide Growth

As Visitation Sisters around the world look forward to the feast of St. Francis de Sales on January 24th, the sisters in the United States say that an interest in the spirituality crafted by St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal remains strong and shows signs of growth.

That’s true, judged by web visits to the Sisters’ new Second Federation website, begun last February 26th. Visits have increased to 650 per month, according to the Order’s federation of five houses throughout the eastern and mid-western United States. The website has posted a steady stream of articles on Salesian spirituality, while explaining little-known devotions and facts concerning the lives of the two founders, St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal.

A video produced by the Second Federation, “Longsuffering Leader: the Life of St. Jane de Chantal” has gained nearly 3,000 views since its publication in August. And its “Living Jesus Chat Room” has attracted a vibrant Sunday audience on its website, at which participants talk about the Salesian spirituality and vocation.

The Order, formally known as the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary, was founded in 1610 by Saint Francis de Sales and Saint Jane Frances de Chantal in Annecy, Haute-Savoie, France. The charism of the Visitation Order combines gentleness with a valiant spirit; initiative with communal support; dedication to prayer with presence in the world, and a contemplative life with an apostolic dimension. The order’s motto is “Vive Jésus” (French for “Live Jesus”).

The Order spread from France throughout Europe and to North America. Today they number approximately 2,500 Sisters in more than 150 monasteries throughout the world. The group is growing in Africa; there is a monastery in Korea; and in South and Central America the houses continue to expand. In the United States there are 11 monasteries in two federations. Six are dedicated to the contemplative life, and the others–Georgetown, St. Louis, Mendota Heights, Brooklyn, and Minneapolis–add apostolic works to their contemplative life.

For more information on the Visitation and its spirituality for religious and laity, visit the Second Federation of the Visitation.

New Video on French Religious Foundress Highlights Virtue in the Face of Family Difficulties

At the age of 28, Jane de Chantal, a French noblewoman, was faced with the difficult task of getting beyond her husband’s accidental death and raising five children. Beyond that, she was compelled to live at her father-in-law’s estate and  put up with his irritations.

A very devout woman, she then met St. Francis de Sales and the two formed a lifelong friendship. Francis confided to Jane his desire to found a religious order that would be welcoming to women who seek a deep relationship with God, but who for one reason or another could not live with the physical rigors of traditional religious life.

In 1610, the two officially established the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary. Before she died, St. Jane de Chantal founded 86 houses of the Visitation.

All of this is recounted in a new video on the life of St. Jane de Chantal, which has been viewed over two thousand times on Gloria.TV in the first week of its debut.

The video was produced by VocationPromotion.com for the Second Federation of the Visitation in the United States and is featured on the website www.VisitationSpirit.org.