The postulancy, which lasts from six months to a year, is meant to permit a gradual transition from life in the world to life in the novitiate. It allows the postulant to experience living in a contemplative community, to intensify her prayer life and to increase her knowledge of Jesus Christ.
At her reception into the Novitiate, the Sister receives the habit of the Order and the white veil. This period gives the novice space and time to study her response to the call of Christ.
At the end of the two-year novitiate, the sister makes, for three years, profession of the three vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience according to the Constitutions of the Order of the Visitation. This is done in a public ceremony during the Eucharistic Liturgy. As a sign of her consecration to the Lord, she receives the silver profession cross and her religious name.
After three years the sister may be admitted to solemn vows. At this time she receives the black veil.
“This is the way, my dear Sisters. Grace will never be wanting to us if we are faithful in seconding its attractions; thus will God bless us and our labors.” (St. Jane de Chantal)