Tuesday, January 24, 2006

St Francis de Sales

Francis de Sales was born in 1567 in the castle at Sales in Savoy. He was educated in Paris and Padua, first as a legal advocate and then as a priest. His preaching against Calvinism began in 1593 to win back the Chablais to Roman Catholicism. By the time Francis left to go home he issaid to have converted 40,000 people back to Catholicism. He moved to Geneva in 1599 as Bishop-Coadjutor and became the diocesan in 1602, continuing his mission. In Dijon, Francis saw a widow listening closely to his sermon. Jane de Chantal was a person on her own, as Francis was, but it was only when they became friends that they began to become saints. Jane wanted him to take over her spiritual direction. Jane was on a path to mystical union with God and, in directing her, Francis was compelled to follow her and become a mystic himself. Three years after working with Jane, he finally made up his mind toform a new religious order - The Salesians. At that time, the way of holiness was only for monks and nuns -- not for ordinary people. Francis changed all that by giving spiritual direction to lay people living ordinary lives in the world. But he had proven with his own life that people could grow in holiness while involved in a very active occupation. His most famous book, INTRODUCTION TO THE DEVOUT LIFE, was written for these ordinary people in 1608. Written originally as letters, it became an instant success all over Europe He believed the worst sin was to judge someone or to gossip about them. Even if we say we do it out of love we're still doing it to look better ourselves. But we should be as gentle and forgiving with ourselves as we should be with others. He is patron saint ofjournalists because of the tracts and books he wrote. St Francis de Sales was also a patron of the Order of Port Royal.

(courtesy of Caro at Daily Readings)

Devotional readings:

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2 comments:

Warwickensis said...

Albion,

Looking at your posted pictures are you related with St Fracis de Sales? :D

albion said...

Nope.

But try the entry on Jan 25.