"Trust entirely in the goodness of God in all things." St. Jane Frances de Chantal
Wife, mother, friend to St. Francis de Sales, and founder of a Visitation order, St. Jane Frances de Chantal has taught me a few important lessons in overcoming the sneaky sin of perfectionism.
Before she was 30, Jane became a widow and a single mother to four littles. Through the grief of tragically losing her husband and three babies in infancy, Jane turned to her faith for strength. It was during this time that Jane was introduced to a priest, Francis de Sales. The two future Saints became penpals and Francis, Jane’s spiritual director.
Through their correspondences, a deep friendship grew and St. Francis de Sales truly admired Jane and her perseverance in her faith. The two went on to establish the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary for women. St. Jane founded over eighty convents.
St. Jane has been a heavenly friend of mine for a few years and has taught many lessons about the vocations of marriage and motherhood, friendship, and overcoming the sneaky bit of perfectionism.
Here are 3 lessons that I keep close to my heart:
1. Trust in the Lord’s will. St. Jane had to overcome many trials in her life. Through grace, she was given the faith to trust in the Lord, knowing He is good, wise, and all powerful. "Let us claim the support of our heavily Father and cast ourselves without reserve into his arms and he will assist and strengthen us according to our needs."
2. Keep my eyes gazed on Him. St. Jane said, "Hold your eyes on God and leave the doing to Him." This is such a simple and profound reminder to keep our eyes on the One who loves us the most and is always for us.
3. Find holy friends to encourage and pray for and with. The example of St. Jane and St. Francis offers us inspiration to be a more present friend, one who is there to actively listen and offer support in prayer and words rooted in Truth for those the Lord has put in our life. As St. Francis said, "Nothing is so strong as gentleness and nothing so gentle as real strength." If you'd like to read more about their friendship - check out this book of their letters. It's on my list!
St. Jane is the patron Saint of gentleness and widows. Her feast day is August 12th.
St. Jane Frances de Chantal, pray for us!