Vita della beata Giovanna Francesca Fremiot di Chantal fondatrice della Visitazione di Santa Maria …

Rome, Bernabò and Lazzarini, 1751.

8vo, pp. [16], 216, with engraved frontispiece portrait, and woodcut initials, head-, and tailpieces; occasional foxing and spotting, but largely clean; in contemporary vellum over boards, with later gilt red morocco lettering-piece on spine; binding slightly dustsoiled; with engraved armorial bookplate of Thomas Gaisford (1779–1855) to upper pastedown.


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Vita della beata Giovanna Francesca Fremiot di Chantal fondatrice della Visitazione di Santa Maria …

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First edition of this abridged biography of Jeanne-Françoise Frémiot, Baronne de Chantal, the founder of the order of the Visitation of Holy Mary, based on Saccarelli’s more extensive work of 1734.

Jeanne Françoise de Chantal (1572–1641), a Burgundian aristocrat widowed with four children at the age of twenty-eight, befriended François de Sales, the Bishop of Geneva, and together they agreed to start a religious order, with its first house in Annecy. The initial plan was not for the nuns to be cloistered except during their novitiate, but rather to have an active public ministry, but after eight years the order took on a more conventional conventual life. What set the Visitandines apart derived from Chantal’s insistence on accepting the elderly and infirm, who would not be able to live as austere a life as might be required by other orders.

This hagiography, written by Carlo Antonio Saccarelli (1684–1758), was abridged from his earlier version published in 1734; both the longer and the shorter texts were translated into French, German, and Spanish. Saccarelli also wrote a biography of Margherita Cominelli Simbeni. Chantal was beatified in 1751, prompting the present abridgment, and canonised in 1767.

Outside Continental Europe, OCLC records copies at Johns Hopkins, Ohio, Dayton, and Guelf, with Library Hub adding the Bodleian.

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