Saint Jane Frances

Jane Frances was wife, mother, nun, and founder of a religious community. Her mother died when she was 18 months old, and her father, head of parliament at Dijon, France, became the main influence on her education. Jane developed into a woman of beauty and refinement, lively and cheerful in temperament. At 21, she married Baron de Chantal, by whom she had six children, three of whom died in infancy. At her castle, she restored the custom of daily Mass, and was seriously engaged in various charitable works.

Jane’s husband was killed after seven years of marriage, and she sank into deep dejection for four months at her family home. Her father-in-law threatened to disinherit her children if she did not return to his home. He was then 75, vain, fierce, and extravagant. Jane Frances managed to remain cheerful in spite of him and his insolent housekeeper.

When she was 32, Jane met Saint Francis de Sales who became her spiritual director, softening some of the severities imposed by her former director. She wanted to become a nun but he persuaded her to defer this decision. She took a vow to remain unmarried and to obey her director.

After three years, Francis told Jane of his plan to found an institute of women that would be a haven for those whose health, age, or other considerations barred them from entering the already established communities. There would be no cloister, and they would be free to undertake spiritual and corporal works of mercy. They were primarily intended to exemplify the virtues of Mary at the Visitation—hence their name the Visitation nuns—humility and meekness.

The usual opposition to women in active ministry arose and Francis de Sales was obliged to make it a cloistered community following the Rule of Saint Augustine. Francis wrote his famous Treatise on the Love of God for them. The congregation consisting of three women began when Jane Frances was 45. She underwent great sufferings: Francis de Sales died; her son was killed; a plague ravaged France; her daughter-in-law and son-in-law died. She encouraged the local authorities to make great efforts for the victims of the plague, and she put all her convent’s resources at the disposal of the sick.

During a part of her religious life, Jane Frances had to undergo great trials of the spirit—interior anguish, darkness, and spiritual dryness. She died while on a visitation of convents of the community.


Ezekiel 9:1-7; 10:18-22

1 Then he cried in my ears with a loud voice, saying, "Draw near, you executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand."
2 And lo, six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, every man with his weapon for slaughter in his hand, and with them was a man clothed in linen, with a writing case at his side. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar.
3 Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherubim on which it rested to the threshold of the house; and he called to the man clothed in linen, who had the writing case at his side.
4 And the LORD said to him, "Go through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark upon the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it."
5 And to the others he said in my hearing, "Pass through the city after him, and smite; your eye shall not spare, and you shall show no pity;
6 slay old men outright, young men and maidens, little children and women, but touch no one upon whom is the mark. And begin at my sanctuary." So they began with the elders who were before the house.
7 Then he said to them, "Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain. Go forth." So they went forth, and smote in the city.
18 Then the glory of the LORD went forth from the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubim.
19 And the cherubim lifted up their wings and mounted up from the earth in my sight as they went forth, with the wheels beside them; and they stood at the door of the east gate of the house of the LORD; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them.
20 These were the living creatures that I saw underneath the God of Israel by the river Chebar; and I knew that they were cherubim.
21 Each had four faces, and each four wings, and underneath their wings the semblance of human hands.
22 And as for the likeness of their faces, they were the very faces whose appearance I had seen by the river Chebar. They went every one straight forward.


Matthew 18:15-20

15 "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.
16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses.
17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.
20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them."


Psalms 113:1-6

1 Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD!
2 Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore!
3 From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the LORD is to be praised!
4 The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens!
5 Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high,
6 who looks far down upon the heavens and the earth?


Lord, help me heed Your call

Wednesday 12th August 2020
19th Week in Ordinary Time
Ez. 9:1-7,10:18-22;  Ps. 112:1-2,3-4,5-6;
Mt. 18:15-20       (Ps Wk III)

The prophet Ezekiel describes the vision of the judgement of God in the city of Jerusalem. Like angels of death, the six men are called by God to advance through the city with a deadly weapon.

Before them, goes a man in white, chosen by God. He is charged with the responsibility of marking the foreheads of those who are to be delivered from death. Without pity or regard for gender or age, all others have to be destroyed.

As the severe punishment is carried out, Ezekiel asks God if all of Israel must be destroyed. God answers that the evil deeds of the people cannot go unpunished. Then, the man in white returns and says God's commands have been accomplished. The sins of the people have consequences. Not only are they punished, but soon God’s glory departs from the Temple and the city of Jerusalem. The city is now without the protection of God.

In the Gospel passage, the writer describes what happens when a member of the Christian community sins. His or her sins affect the whole community. This is why various steps have to be taken when one Christian sins against another. Every effort has to be made to win the erring Christians back to the community. The decision to exclude an erring member is only made as a last resort.

God gives us numerous opportunities to repent and return to Him. Do we heed His call?

Lord, help me heed Your call.