Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary
The Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary or the Visitation Order is a Roman Catholic religious order for women. Members of the order are also known as the Salesian Sisters or, more commonly, as the Visitandines.
History of the order 
The Order was founded in 1610 by Saint Francis de Sales and Saint Jane Frances de Chantal in Annecy, Haute-Savoie, France. The special charism of the Visitation Order combines gentleness with a valiant spirit; initiative with communal support; dedication to prayer with presence in the world; a contemplative life with an apostolic dimension. The order's motto is "Vive Jésus" (French for "Live Jesus").
The Order spread from France throughout Europe and to North America. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1914,
The convent of Georgetown was the first house of the Visitation founded in the United States.... The Visitation of Georgetown founded that of Mobile 1833 and in the same year that of Kaskaskia [Illinois], which was transferred to St. Louis in 1844. In 1837 it founded the Visitation of Baltimore, that of Frederick [Maryland] in 1846, and Philadelphia in 1848. These various convents founded others, and at present there are in the United States 21 houses of the Visitation in relation with Annecy.
Today the Order numbers approximately 3,000 Sisters in 168 monasteries located in most countries of the world. In the United States there are 12 monasteries in two federations. Six are dedicated to the contemplative lifestyle, and the other six (Georgetown, Frederick, St. Louis, Mendota Heights, Wheeling, Brooklyn and Minneapolis) add apostolic monasteries to their contemplative life.
Visitation schools in the United States 
In 1799, three sisters in the order were given permission by Archbishop Leonard Neale to start a girls' school located next to Georgetown University, called the Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School. In 1816, the Visitation Convent, Georgetown was founded with Teresa Lalor as superior. In 1846, 11 of the Georgetown Visitation sisters relocated to Frederick, Maryland to carry on a school began by the Sisters of Charity in 1824, which from that date became the Visitation Academy of Frederick - which is still operating today and had an important part in Civil War history when it was occupied in September 1862 (until January 1863) by Union Troops and became General Hospital #5 following the Battles of South Mountain and Antietam.
In 1833, the sisters were granted permission by Bishop Joseph Rosati to travel to St. Louis and begin another school, now called Visitation Academy of St. Louis. They settled in Kaskaskia, Illinois, but moved into St. Louis proper in 1844. The sisters were once again offered a location to establish a new school in 1848 in Wheeling, West Virginia, and the school was named Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy. Bishop Thomas Grace of St. Paul, Minnesota, asked the sisters to open a school in 1873, and the Convent of the Visitation School was founded. Not all four schools are still operating; Wheeling has closed.
Visitation schools in other countries 
In 1835, the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary of Dietramszell acquired Beuerberg Abbey (Kloster Beuerberg), in Eurasburg, Germany. Between 1846 and 1938 they ran a girls' school and a home for nursing mothers at Beuerberg Abbey, and afterwards an old people's convalescent home. The abbey still belongs to the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary.
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