Jeanne Chézard de Matel

Jeanne Chézard de Matel (1596 – 1670), shares in her own words in her Autobiography, the experience she had in prayer, through which she understood that God was calling her to found a new Order in the Church.

In the evening at about nine o’clock, when I had withdrawn to my oratory, it pleased You to elevate my understanding in a most sublime suspension during which You said to me: “My daughter, you think that you should enjoy repose and the quiet of contemplation in your father’s house, while possessing the heavenly, divine benediction of the Eucharist. You love your recollection, but my Divine Wisdom orders otherwise. I have destined you to institute an Order in my Name that will honor my Person become Flesh for love of humankind. Just as I chose the Blessed Father Ignatius to institute a Society of men to honor my Name, I have chosen you to erect a Congregation of women for Me.

Remember that, one day during Easter-time in 1617, I wanted you to carry the Cross, followed by a number of young women dressed in white, to come to adore Me at the altar where I reposed for Forty Hours. You carried the Cross, yet I carried and sustained you delightfully while caressing you more lovingly than King Assuerus did Esther. I told you that the humiliations of my Cross would be converted into glory for you. This carrying of the Cross prefigured what I desired to bring about in you by calling you to undertake the project that I am declaring to you this evening. Courage, my daughter! Resolve to leave your father’s house and all the recollection you cherish so highly, in order to fulfill my intentions.”

With customary confidence, I addressed your Majesty saying: “What title do You want for your Institute that will incorporate all your promises to me?” My Divine Oracle, You did not delay, but elevating my spirit. You told me: “My daughter, I am Infallible Truth. I will keep all my promises, and the title of my Order is Incarnate Word. I want this name to be requested. With eminence and excellence, this title comprises all that refers to Me as Increated Word and Incarnate Word; you will have everything in this name. Whoever possesses the totality, possesses the parts, and I assure you, my daughter, that this title will be given my Order without opposition. It is I, my daughter, who invest you with this august and glorious title. From all eternity, I have been and I am the Increated Word. I will forever be the Incarnate Word.

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