The feast day of St. Francis de Sales is celebrated on Jan. 24. St. Francis was born in Savoy, France in 1567. His father wanted him to be a lawyer which led to his studies in Padua. After he received his doctorate, he told his parents he wanted to become a priest. Although his father initially opposed the idea, he eventually consented. He was ordained in the Diocese of Geneva.
Geneva was surrounded by Calvinist Protestants whom he tried persistently to convert. After three years without a single convert, Francis began writing pamphlets explaining the faith. He would slip his writings under doorways hoping they would be read.
St. Francis is also the author of several books and many sermons.
His writing was addressed to the lay people of the time.The most well known of his books are:
- Introduction to the Devout Life
- A Treatise on the Love of God.
Eventually, Francis met St. Jane Frances de Chantel and became her spiritual director. He helped her to establish the Sisters of the Visitation.
Francis designed a sign language to enable him to teach a deaf man. For this reason, he is also the patron of the deaf.
In 1602, he became the Bishop of the Diocese of Geneva. He had a great devotion to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, helping to spread the devotion. Francis was well known for his excellent preaching and remembered for both his wit and his writing.
St. Francis died after having a stroke in Dec. 1622. He was buried on Jan. 24 which is his feast day.
We shall steer safely through every storm
so long as our heart is right,
our intention fervent, our courage steadfast,
and our trust fixed on God.
If at times we are somewhat stunned
by the tempest, never fear.
Let us take breath, and go afresh.
Quote of St. Francis de Sales
January is the Month of the Holy Name