Our Patron Saint
Saint Francis de Sales: The Gentleman Saint
Saint Francis de Sales was born on August 21, 1567. As a young man, Francis was sent to study in Paris. While there, he consecrated himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary and made a vow of chastity. After Paris, Francis went on to study law in Padua. Once he finished his studies, he told his parents he wished to become a priest. His father strongly objected, but after much gentle persuasion, he finally relented.
After his ordination, Francis was appointed Provost (archdeacon) of the Diocese of Geneva where he preached, heard confessions, gave advice, and ministered to the people. The archdeacon was the bishop’s assistant and in some cases, such as caring for the sick, visiting prisoners, and training priests, the archdeacon served as the bishop’s representative.
In 1602, Francis became the Bishop of Geneva. Francis reformed religious communities and lived simply so that he could provide better for the poor and needy and whom he loved greatly. He was well known for his patience, goodness, and mild nature.
Saint Francis de Sales has left us with a treasury of sayings that speak in simple ways about what matters most. Here are just a few of his quotes. There are many more!
“Be who you are and be that well to give glory to your Creator.”
“Have patience with all things, but first of all with yourself.”
“Nothing is so strong as gentleness; nothing so gentle as real strength.”
“Doing little things with a strong desire to please God makes them really great.”
“What we need is a cup of understanding, a barrel of love, and an ocean of patience.”
Because of his meek and cheerful personality, he is known as “The Gentleman Saint.” He strove to attract people through goodness and gentleness. He used to say, “A spoonful of honey attracts more flies than a barrel of vinegar!”
Saint Francis de Sales’ feast day is celebrated on January 24. He is the patron saint of authors, writers, the Catholic Press, journalists, and the deaf.
“Anxiety is the greatest evil that can befall a soul except sin. God commands you to pray, but He forbids you to worry.”
Saint Francis de Sales, pray for us!