Daily Martyrology for August 18

In 1641, St. Jane Frances de Chantal. Born into a devout and prominent family, she received thorough religious education from her widowed father. At twenty she married the Baron de Chantal. He was killed in a hunting accident and she raised their three surviving children. St. Francis de Sales (January 24) became her spiritual director and dear friend. On his advice she founded the Congregation of the Visitation, who would work outside the convent. St. Francis wrote his treatise On the Love of God for them. Although the sisters eventually had to accept enclosure, the order spread rapidly.

About 319, in Palestine, St. Helena, the mother of Constantine. In 326, Helena went to Palestine and there established several churches, liberated prisoners, and helped the needy. A sermon of St. Ambrose in 385 credits her with having found the cross on which Jesus died.

In 1255, Blessed Leonard, abbot of the monastery of Cava in Campania.

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Our daily martyrology was written by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB. Copyright © 2008 by the Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, ID 83338.