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And today we celebrate...

Wednesday, January 24

Saint Francis de Sales

His sermons led to greater spirituality in the common people

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Bishop and Doctor of the Church (1567-1622)

His life

+ As a child, Francis showed great interest in ecclesiastical life and received the tonsure at the age of eleven (shaving the crown of his head to mark his status as a cleric). After studying philosophy and theology in Paris, he traveled to Padua and was awarded doctorates in both civil and canon law.

+ Following his ordination, Francis was made provost of the Swiss diocese of Geneva and began a lifelong mission among the predominantly Calvinist population of the diocese; he was named bishop of Geneva in 1602.

+ In 1609, Francis composed his famous Introduction to the Devout Life and, in 1610, he founded the Order of the Visitation with Saint Jane Frances de Chantal.

+ In an age of fanaticism and religious controversy, Francis manifested exceptional discretion, prudence, and meekness. His letters of spiritual direction and sermons marked a turning point in spirituality for the common person.

+ Saint Francis de Sales died in 1622 and was canonized in 1665. He is honored as the patron of Catholic writers and publishers.

Quote

In holy Church all is by love, in love, for love and of love.”—Saint Francis de Sales

Prayer

O God, who for the salvation of souls
willed that the Bishop Saint Francis de Sales
become all things to all,
graciously grant that, following his example,
we may always display the gentleness of your charity
in the service of our neighbor.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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