The following is a piece from the May-June Newsletter of the USCCB’s Committee on Divine Worship.
It concerns the shifting date of the feast of St. Jane Frances de Chantal.
People who are interesting in the TLM, the Extraordinary Use of the Roman Rite will find this interesting. It mentions Summorum Pontificum.
My emphases and comments.
Memorial of Saint Jane Frances de Chantal: Which Date is Correct?
Over the past several years, there has been much confusion regarding the celebration of the memorial of Saint Jane Frances de Chantal. The Secretariat of Divine Worship has carefully researched this issue, and now hopes to resolve the confusion. The timeline of her shifting feast day is presented below:
1769-1969 – August 21
Sister Jane Frances de Chantal, co-founder of the religious Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary (commonly known today as the Visitation Sisters), died on December 13, 1641. [Very often the feast of a saint is fixed on the day the saint died, that is, their birth into heaven. Sometimes it is fixed to the date the saints relics are "translated" from one place to another. At times, the day used has to do with some other event.] Two years after her canonization by Pope Clement XIII in July 1767, St. Jane Frances’ feast day was fixed on August 21, and remained so until after the Second Vatican Council. (As a result of the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum of Pope Benedict XVI, this date is still observed as her class III feast in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.)
1970-1988 – December 12
In the 1969 reform of the liturgical calendar, her feast day was made an optional memorial and set on December 12. [tinker tinker] December 13, the date St. Jane Frances died, was already occupied with the memorial of St. Lucy.) In November 1971, however, the Bishops of the United States, wishing to honor the role Our Lady of Guadalupe has played in the Americas, decided to insert Our Lady’s memorial – also on December 12 – into the proper calendar for the dioceses of the United States of America. That decision was confirmed by the Congregation for Divine Worship on December 28, 1971 (Prot. n. 2153/71).
Thus in the United States, St. Jane Frances’ optional memorial was impeded for 17 years by the obligatory memorial of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Our Lady’s memorial was later raised to a feast in the United States by its Bishops in November 1987 (a Marian Year) and confirmed by the Congregation for Divine Worship on January 8, 1988 (Prot. n. 1341/87).
1989-2001 – August 18
To allow St. Jane Frances’ feast to be celebrated, the Bishops of the United States voted in November 1988 to petition the Holy See to transfer the optional memorial of St. Jane Frances from December 12 to August 18 [! Not August 21.] in the United States – the date recommended by the Visitation Sisters. The request was granted by the Congregation for Divine Worship on January 20, 1989 (Prot. N. 1609/88).
2002-present – August 12
Finally, [whew!] on December 18, 2001, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments decreed that, because her memorial was continually being impeded by the celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the optional memorial of St. Jane Frances was transferred in the universal calendar to August 12. This decree (Prot. n. 2492/01/L) has superseded the 1988 request of the U.S. Bishops. Therefore, [the bottom line is….] in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the optional memorial of St. Jane Frances de Chantal is August 12; on the Extraordinary Form calendar, her class III feast is celebrated August 21.
When tinkeritis sets in, you never know what is going to happen.
But, it remained the same date for the TLM since 1767.
In the 2004 Martyrologium Romanum St. Jane has two entries! 12 August for the memorial and 13 December for her death.