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Jeanne Antide was born into a Christian family on November 27, 1765, in Sancey-Le Long. Baptized on the day of her birth, she received the Christian faith that will be nourished by the teachings of her mother, by those of the parish priest and by her benevolent godmother. Her family is one of those who meet for prayer in the evening and for mass on Sundays.

Jeanne Antide throughout her history has perceived step by step the vocation to which God called her, a story that begins in her family home where from her childhood she begins to feel in her heart the desire to help others, to be available both at home through work in the fields or taking care of the little brothers, and at the parish teaching children the catechesis; but also feelings of compassion for those who suffer, in particular for her suffering and sick mother who, as soon as the country and home tasks left her free, Antide stood beside her to assist and comfort her; but also for the hungry and poor who come home to ask for something to eat, and for which Jeanne Antide is deprived of food to give it to them. Thus she begins to look at the world and her sufferings and it reveals in her some traits of her character: her sensitivity, attention to others, the desire to take upon herself the pains of those who suffer.

In doing all this, Jeanne Antide also takes times of silence and solitude to meet God in prayer.

After 4 years of illness her mother dies, Jeanne Antide is 16, she suffers a lot, but she throws herself at Virgin Mary’s feet and begs her to be her mother forever. By order of the father, she will become the woman of the house and mother to her brothers, a task that she lives with responsibility and love.

The years pass between the housework, the prayer, the parish… The dishonest proposals of a house maid lead the young woman to make the choice of God, a choice that she secretly expresses in a vow of perpetual chastity; this is for Jeanne Antide the realization that she does not want “to be linked but to God alone”. It is in her reply that she reads the call of God. This event will mark a stage from which she will never return. Having done so it is on this initial gift, response to a call from God, that rests the consecration of a whole life.

From this moment Jeanne Antide begins to look concretely for what God wants from her. What nourishes her desire is the search for the signs of God; she does not close herself in a life project that she would have built by herself. Her prayer puts her in a state of openness, of availability, of inner freedom, asking God for a holy state of life. Continue to consult the Lord with prayer, fasting and alms, pray ardently to God to let her know what he wants from her, pray in patience, in trust; reflects and makes sure of her profound motivations. But she does not see very clearly between the two strong inclinations that divide her heart: for the most austere state or for being useful to the poor. This tension, long lived, will be a dynamism that will lead her ever further. It seems that the natural inclination of her heart is this search for intimacy with the Lord. The desire of God sets her on the way, but every time, the events, the situations, will lead her to live the communion with Christ in the service.

The Lord’s response to the J.A’s prayer: “What do you want me to do?” will be given at the right time…

While she is praying in the chapel of Carmel she feels a certain repugnance to the life of the cloister and a lively attraction to the life of service. She talks about what she felt to a holy priest in the confession and he confirms her choice of apostolic life at the service of the poor. From that moment J.A. seeks to concretize what it is given her to understand as the will of God, she is advised by the Vicar, the parish priest … makes herself available, says herself “ready for everything, even if it were necessary to go to the end of the earth …” ready for all breaks, ready to open up to the universal. Accompanied by her father who finally gives his consent after several contradictions and with the blessing of the parish priest, she enters the company of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul. From that moment, despite the great difficulties and suffering that she will encounter on her way (the French revolution, with the solitary, the journey to Switzerland, the priests, the division of the Institute she founded etc.) she will never come back.

When God calls and one listens to Him He gives what is necessary