• St. Andrew Corsini (1373). Bishop. (Traditional) A carmelite, Corsini had been celebrating the Midnight Mass of Christmas Eve, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him he would leave this world on the feast of the Epiphany. It happened. He brought many miracles thereafter.

BORN of the blood royal of France, herself a queen, Jane of Valois led a life remarkable for its humiliations even in the annals of the Saints. Her father, Louis XI, who had hoped for a son to succeed him, banished Jane from his palace, and, it is said, even attempted her life. At the age of five the neglected child offered her whole heart to God, and yearned to do some special service in honor of His Blessed Mother. At the king’s wish, though against her own inclination, she was married to the Duke of Orleans. Towards an indifferent and unworthy husband her conduct was ever most patient and dutiful. Her prayers and tears saved him from a traitor’s death, and shortened the captivity which his rebellion had merited. Still nothing could win a heart which was already given to another. When her husband ascended the throne as Louis XII, his first act was to repudiate by false representations one who through twenty-two years of cruel neglect had been his true and loyal wife. At the final sentence of separation, the saintly queen exclaimed, “God be praised who has allowed this, that I may serve Him better than I have heretofore done.” Retiring to Bourges, she there realized her long-formed desire by founding the Order of the Annunciation, in honor of the Mother of God.

Under the guidance of St. Francis of Paula, the director of her childhood, St. Jane was enabled to overcome the serious obstacles which even good people raised against the foundation of her new Order. In 1501 the rule of the Annunciation was finally approved by Alexander VI. The chief aim of the Institute was to imitate the ten virtues practiced by our Lady in the Mystery of the Incarnation, the superioress being called “Ancelle,” handmaid, in honor of Mary’s humility. St. Jane built and endowed the first convent of the Order in 1502. She died in heroic sanctity, A.D. I505, and was buried in the royal crown and purple, beneath which lay the habit of her Order. 

REFLECTION: During the lifetime of St. Jane, the Angelus was established in France. The sound of the Ave thrice each day gave her hope in her sorrow, and fostered in her the desire still further to honor the Incarnation. How often might we derive grace from the same beautiful devotion, so enriched by the Church yet neglected by so many Christians!


CONFLICT OF RIGHTS AND DUTIES. The clash between one person’s rights and another person’s duties. Such conflict is only apparent, since all rights and duties are derived from law, and all just law is derived from the natural law based on the eternal law of God. And God cannot both command and forbid the same thing. The stronger right or duty prevails; the weaker simply ceases to be a right or duty at all.

In practice, however, it can be extremely difficult to determine which is the stronger right or duty. Certain general norms are commonly recognized in making such a determination. Thus, other things being equal, the stronger right or duty is the one that involves the nobler person, e.g., God before man, parents before children; higher law, e.g., natural law before positive law, inalienable rights before alienable rights; more common good, e.g., the country before the family, the family before the individual; graver matter, e.g., the soul before the body, life before property; clearer title, e.g., the certain before the doubtful, paying a debt before giving a gift; closer relationship, e.g., closer relatives before remote ones, friends before strangers; and greater urgency, e.g., fighting a fire before reading a book, saving the living before burying the dead.

What makes these norms hard to apply is that in any given situation other things are not equal. One right or duty may appear stronger according to one of these norms, and the opposite right or duty stronger for another reason. It is here especially that the virtue of prudence, both natural and supernatural, is indispensable.

Modern Catholic Dictionary, Fr. John Hardon SJ (Get the real one at Eternal Life — don’t accept an abridged or edited version of this masterpiece!)

This article, FEBRUARY 4, 2024 – ST. JANE, OF VALOIS. is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
Do not repost the entire article without written permission. Reasonable excerpts may be reposted so long as it is linked to this page.

John B. Manos

John B. Manos, Esq. is an attorney and chemical engineer. He has a dog, Fyo, and likes photography, astronomy, and dusty old books published by Benziger Brothers. He is the President of the Bellarmine Forum.

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