Wendy M. Wright


Francis de Sales and Jane de Chantal’s spiritual friendship lasted from 1604 to 1622. They co-founded the community of the Visitation of Holy Mary, and their relationship “brought them both to the fullness of their human potential and closer to . . . the radical and self-giving love of God.” Both saw all forms of human love as the way to return to the source of love, God. Friendships were particularly important for creating devout souls, which would transform the world in to the image of the loving God. This article examines Francis and Jane’s relationship to see how this transformed world might exist in our time. It traces the three distinct periods of their friendship and the way each of them experienced it. It also describes what each brought to the founding of the Visitation.