A little history of the Visitation chapel in Avignon
The old convent’s chapel
Architect La Valfrenière raised this chapel between 1632 and 1638 for Roman Mario Philonardi, archbishop and vice-legate of Avignon, on the foundations of an old Capuchin friars convent founded in 1546.
The façade is typical of the 17th century, with its Corinthian columns, its triangular pediment... Inside, the ceiling paintings represent saint Francis de Sales’ glory. Well, he was one of the founder of Visitation order!
Two friends and saints
An order founded in 1618 by Francis and Jeanne de Chantal in Annecy. Jeanne (Mrs. de Sévigné’s grand-mother) knew plenty of misfortunes in the beginning of 17th century.
Her husband, Christophe de Rabutin, baron de Chantal, died in 1601. The young lady became a widow, she was all alone! And she lost almost all her children... So, desperate, she turned to God and started to help others, needy ones.
She met then bishop of Geneva, Francis de Sales, in 1604. A real upset! The two one became friends and founded the Visitation order.