December 12, 2015
Is December 12 the feast day of St. Jane de Chantal? Or is it August 21st still? Perhaps August 18th? Actually we no longer celebrate St. Jane on any of these days. It is a long story, but let me share this with you.
You see since the USA celebrates Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12th St. Jane's feast day has been moved around several times. When we celebrate the feast day of a Saint, it is usually on the day of their death. For St. Jane that would be tomorrow, December 13th, but in Europe that is the feast day of St. Lucy which is very important in certain traditions over there.
For years our Visitation Sisters in Europe continued to observe December 12th as the feast of St. Jane de Chantal while in America(s) we celebrated Our Lady's Day and remembered St. Jane on August 21st. (That by the way is the birthday of St. Francis de Sales).
Soon the Church decided to change it to August 18th and placed St. Pius X on August 21st.
So for a few years that was the day we in this hemisphere celebrated. Now however in order to provide a common day of celebration for the entire Order of the Visitation we all celebrate St. Jane de Chantal's feast on August 12!
Yes, it is a bit of a story, but there you have it. We still remember our Holy Mother on the anniversary of her death on December 13, at least in our hearts. Usually we re-read the account of her last days on the evening of the day, December 13th. I'm sure she is pleased with the remembrance. St. Jane de Chantal, our Holy Mother, pray for us that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ! God be praised!