Madame Jeanne Guyon
Madame Jeanne Guyon was one of the main leaders and writers of the seventeenth century movement known as Quietism, which downplayed the importance of works in religion and emphasized a total surrender to God.
Soon after her marriage as a teenager to a wealthy middle-aged nobleman, Jeanne came to realize that true happiness could only be found in devotion to God. She turned her back on high society life and spent her time reading devotional books and doing charitable works. She became influential in the French courts, where she helped many women live a pure life. Her teachings were in sharp contrast to the lavish and sexually immoral culture of the day.
After the death of her husband, Jeanne dedicated herself entirely to Christian ministry. She traveled through the towns of France and Switzerland, reaching out to all segments of society, sharing her insights on how to live a holy life. Hers was not a public ministry, but mainly one of personal evangelism, challenging people to live a holy life by placing their faith in Christ.
While respected by many, Madam Guyon was often despised by the Church and spent several years in prison for her teachings on the possibility of knowing God on a personal level. Though her church leaders often despised her, she remained true to her Catholic roots until death. Despite the controversy she causes, her writings were embraced by both Catholics and Protestants in France, Germany, Holland, and England, sparking personal revival as her follows were drawn into a more personal relationship with God with a deeper devotion to Him.