Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Feast of Saint Francis de Sales

Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622) was Bishop of Geneva and is a Doctor of the Church.

From the breviary:
He was born near Annecy, in Savoy, studied the law, and was ordained to the priesthood despite the opposition of his father. His first mission was to re-evangelize the people of his home district (the Chablais), who had gone over to Calvinism. Always in danger of his life from hostile Calvinists, he preached with such effectiveness that after four years most of the people had returned to the Church. He was then appointed bishop of Geneva, and spent the rest of his life reforming and reorganising the diocese, and in caring for the souls of his people by preaching and spiritual guidance.

St. Francis taught that we can all attain a devout and spiritual life, whatever our position in society: holiness is not reserved for monks and hermits alone. His wrote that “religious devotion does not destroy: it perfects”, and his spiritual counsel is dedicated to making people more holy by making them more themselves. In his preaching against Calvinism he was driven by love rather than a desire to win: so much so, that it was a Calvinist minister who said “if we honoured anyone as a saint, I know of no-one since the days of the Apostles more worthy of it than this man”.

St. Francis is the patron saint of writers and journalists, who would do well to imitate his love and his moderation: as he said, “whoever wants to preach effectively must preach with love”.
He was beatified in 1661, canonized in 1665, and proclaimed Doctor of the Universal Church in 1877.

His feast is celebrated on the 29th in the Tridentine calendar, and on the 24th in the modern calendar.

Books by Saint Francis de Sales:
Introduction to the Devout Life
The Catholic Controversy
Treatise on the Love of God
Spiritual Conferences
The Mystical Exposition of the Canticle of Canticles
The Spiritual Directory
Sermons on Prayer

On Sunday, January 28th, at 10:00 a.m. the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest in Saint Louis, Missouri, will celebrate the External Solemnity of Saint Francis de Sales, followed by a conference and dinner. The very Rev. Msgr. R. Michael Schmitz, Vicar General and Provincial Superior of the Institute will be the homilist and lecturer. Dinner tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for adolescents 12—17, and children are free.

No comments:

Post a Comment