Located at the top of a very steep set of public stairs set into the side of the cliff, this monastery of Sisters was one of the locations in Grenoble where De La Salle would say Mass and attend to his priestly duties. While we don’t know much about his exact routine in this regard, we do know that he went there regularly, either via the steep stairs or by a more circuitous route that would have been less arduous on his increasing rheumatism.
The Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary was founded in 1610 by Saint Francis de Sales and Saint Jane Frances de Chantal. Their aim was to provide a monastic religious life for those who had neither the physical strength nor an interest in corporal austerities that were popular at that time. They would reach God chiefly through interior mortifications and to do everything with obedience to God’s Will and the greatest possible love. Their motto is “Vive Jesus” or “Long Live Jesus.” They eventually started schools for girls and today have both contemplative houses and communities associated with schools. One can only speculate as to whether De La Salle planted any seeds of educational interest during his time with them in Grenoble.
Inside panoramic view of theSisters of Visitation chapel
- De La Salle seems to have been sensitive to his responsibilities as an ordained cleric. Are there other examples of his outreach and charity as a priest?
- Making the daily walk up the stairs to the Sisters must have been trying. Why do you think that De La Salle made the effort and kept it up?
- Do you think that he might have enjoyed the opportunity to minister to a group of women? Is there any evidence to support your position?