‘On went Mother de Chantal, preaching community, unanimity and the love taught in the Gospels, by her own example showing faithfulness in the smallest details, evangelical poverty and simplicity; in the monasteries where she stayed she discouraged every effort to make a fuss over her. Each morning she rose before everyone else to serve as “Caller” so that the community would be able to get all their prayers done before things became too hectic. When she was on the road, Mother could not stop to eat until three or four in the afternoon, and in poor villages all she could get would be milk, black bread and curd cheese, but even with that simple fare “she was quite content, sharing her happiness with everyone she met, so that all around her there was an atmosphere of peace and holy joy.” Peace, joy, contentment – those were the marks of Mother de Chantal’s pilgrimages among her spiritual daughters. The only thing that ever bothered her was those “cheers”, towns whose whole populations lined the route to wave and applaud or insisted on holding meetings and banquets in her honour, those “triumphal processions” fit for a queen that made her trips so long and arduous. She was so humble that all the praise cut her to the quick and caused her horrible interior suffering’.
Fr André Ravier SJ, 1905-1999
O God, who madest Saint Jane Frances de Chantal radiant with outstanding merits in divers paths of life in the way of perfection: grant us, through her intercession; that, walking faithfully in our vocation, we may ever be examples of thy shining light; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Fr Lee Kenyon