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August 12 or August 21


Saint of the day:

Saint Jane Frances de Chantal

Patron Saint of forgotten people, in-law problems, loss of parents, parents separated from children, widows

The Story of Saint Jane Frances de Chantal

Saint Jane Frances de Chantal’s Story

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.




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Sainte-Jeanne-de-Chantal Church
96, boulevard Murat - 75016
Paris, France

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Parisian Flan (French Custard Pie)



  • 3 cups (750 ml) milk

  • 1 cup (250 ml) sugar

  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

  • 6 tablespoons (90 ml) cornstarch

  • 1 cup (250 ml) 35% cream

  • 4 egg yolks

  • 1 egg


  • 11/2 cups (375 ml) unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) salt

  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) cold unsalted butter, diced

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) milk

  • 1 egg yolk



  1. In a saucepan, bring milk, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds to a boil. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 10 minutes.

  2. In a bowl, dissolve cornstarch in cream with a whisk. Add egg yolks and whole egg. Slowly incorporate into infused milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula, taking care to scrape the bottom of the pan, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and strain. Cover with plastic wrap directly on cream and let cool in the refrigerator or over an ice water bath. Set aside.


  1. In a food processor, combine flour, sugar and salt. Add butter and pulse a few seconds at a time until it is the size of peas. Add milk and egg yolk and pulse until a ball begins to form. Shape into a disc with your hands.

  2. On a floured work surface, roll out pastry and line a 20 cm (8 inch) in diameter and 6-cm (2 ½-inch) deep springform pan. Press firmly. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes or 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

  3. With the rack in the lowest position, preheat the oven to 200 °C (400 °F).

  4. Pour cooled custard into crust. Cut off excess dough to ½ cm (¼ inch) of the custard level. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 40 to 45 minutes or until custard is only slightly wobbly. Set the oven to broil and caramelize for about 5 minutes or until surface of custard is partially burnt. Remove from oven. Let cool and refrigerate for 6 hours. Unmould.


Keep flan in the refrigerator, but let it temper before serving and top with your favorite summer fruit and enjoy!

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