Spirit of the Order

“. . . what is the special spirit of the Visitation? I have always judged it to be a spirit of deep humility before God and of great gentleness towards our neighbor.”       (Saint Francis de Sales)

Contemplatives in the Church through their union with God and their form of community life, they seek within the seclusion of the cloister to develop the bond of charity in and among themselves. Let nothing separate them from the heavenly Spouse who has united them together, nor from that union which can keep them united with Himself; so that having all but one heart and one soul, He Himself may be their only soul and heart.       (Constitution)

The Order honors the Virgin Mary in her mystery of the Visitation. The sisters share in the freedom of her response, in the wonder of her praise, in her zeal for the world’s salvation.      (Constitutions)

“. . . I have thought, my dear Mother, if you agree, we should take as our coat of arms a single heart pierced by two arrows, the whole enclosed in a crown of thorns, and with the poor heart serving to hold and support a cross which is to surmount it, and the heart is to be engraved with the sacred names of JESUS and MARY.

“. . . for indeed, our little congregation is the work of the hearts of Jesus and Mary. Our dying Savior gave birth to us by the wound in his sacred heart; it is therefore perfectly right that by constant mortification our own heart should always remain surrounded by the crown of thorns which once rested on our master’s head while love held him pinned to the throne of his mortal sufferings.”

(Saint Francis de Sales, to Saint Jane de Chantal)

“The Religious of the Visitation, who are so happy as to observe their rules faithfully, may truly bear the name of Daughters of the Gospel, established especially to be imitators of the Sacred Heart of the Word Incarnate in His gentleness and humility. These virtues are, as it were, the foundation and basis of their Order, giving them the incomparable grace and privilege of bearing the title of Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”      (St. Jane de Chantal)

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