On August 12th, our Church remembers and celebrates Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, patron saint of widows, forgiveness, and parents who are apart from their children.
Saint Jane Frances de Chantal was a widow who was forced to live with her children in her father-in-laws house after her husband’s passing. She was angry and upset, both with the situation she was in and with the man who shot and killed her husband. She prayed ardently for a faithful guide who would help her find forgiveness, and she found just that in Saint Francis de Sales.
Saint Jane worked closely with Saint Francis de Sales to start the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary, who were devoted to working with the sick.
From the time she was a young child, Clare had a relationship with Jesus. But it wasn’t until she was introduced to Saint Francis of Assisi that she left her wealthy and important family behind to follow Christ. Instead of marrying, like her father wished, Clare led a life of voluntary poverty and soon other women were drawn to this life, focused on Christ, too. She founded the Poor Clares, which did not own property or have any source of income, who served the poor and sick and people flocked to the nuns with prayer requests.
We celebrate Saint Clare of Assisi’s feast day on August 11th. She is the patron saint of television, eye disease, and the Poor Clares.
Saint Clare is often depicted holding a monstrance, the beautiful vessel that displayed the consecrated Eucharist. The legend has it that one day when the monastery where Saint Clare stayed when she was very ill was being attacked, Saint Clare held out the consecrated Eucharist out the window and the invaders fell and ran away.
Use this free printable to introduce the concepts of a monstrance and Eucharistic Adoration to your little ones!
Both Saint Jane Frances de Chantal and Saint Clare of Assisi were blessed by good and holy friendships. Saint Francis of Assisi was a good friend to Saint Clare, and Saint Francis de Sales was the friend and spiritual mentor for Saint Jane Frances de Chantal. In fact, it is not unusual to see saints grouped together by friendship with each other, because when we surround ourselves with good and holy people who are striving for heaven, we can’t help but want to be good and holy people who are striving for heaven.
As this school year begins, remind your children of the importance of good and holy friends. Encourage them to ask God for those kinds of friendships if they do not have them currently. If they are already blessed by those friendships, remind them to pray in thanksgiving for those friends. Use this free printable as a reminder to pray for holy friendships!