Feast of Saint Francis de Sales
(1567 – 1622)
St. Francis de Sales was born to a noble family in France. He enjoyed a privileged upbringing and education, earning a doctorate in law and theology. He was a well-liked and intelligent man, yet quiet and reserved. When struggling with thoughts of his possibly being predestined to eternal damnation, Francis went into a deep two-year depression. God healed him of this fear, and afterwards Francis consecrated himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Francis later became a priest, rejecting the lucrative career and advantageous marriage his father had prepared for him. As a priest, St. Francis became a prolific writer and preacher, and at the age of 35 was made bishop of the Calvinist stronghold in Geneva, Switzerland, at the height of the Protestant revolt against the Church. Through his gentleness, preaching skill, zeal for the faith, and his clear explanations of Catholic doctrine, he returned thousands of obstinate heretics to the true Faith. He also used sign language to convert the deaf.
St. Francis de Sales is a Doctor of the Church, known especially for his writings on practical spiritual direction for lay people. In 1609 he published Introduction to a Devout Life, which has been in print ever since. Experiencing a variety of health problems, Francis died of a stroke on December 28, 1622, at the age of fifty-five. He was canonized a saint in 1665, and declared a Doctor of the Universal Church in 1877. He is the patron of teachers, the deaf, the Catholic press, confessors, educators, and authors.
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The same everlasting Father who cares for you today will care for you tomorrow and every day. Either he will shield you from suffering or give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginings.”
Saint Francis de Sales
It is a heresy in sacred love to make choice among God’s commandments, which to observe, and which to violate.”
Saint Francis de Sales
Follow the saints because those who follow them will become saints.”
Saint Clement I, pope
Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, pray for us.
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family pray for us. Amen.