FRANCIS DE SALES
FEAST, SATURDAY, JANUARY 29 • •
Francis de Sales is among the company of saints to whom devotion has steadily increased since his death In 1622. This, perhaps, Is because he was one of the great " commonsense" saints. Among the sayings attributed to him is the wonderful
one : "Charity is sanctified politeness." Another attractive point in his life is that his conversion to the way of sanctity was a violent reaction to the theological disputes of his day when he was studying that sacred science. He was freed from despair as he knelt before a miraculous image of Our Lady. Though the embodiment of gentleness, courtesy and sanity,
his life was lived in an atmosphere of struggle. He had to struggle with his noble parents, who had planned a brilliant marriage for him, in order to become a priest. In his apostolic work among the Protestants he had to risk his life. Francis de Sales, as Bishop of Geneva, combined the dignity of his person and his state with the simplest life and a constant devotion to the poor.
His name is constantly bracketed with that of St. Jane Francis de Chantal, with whom he founded the Visitation Order. Their lives were a model of a beautiful and constructive spiritual friendship. His writings caused him to be proclaimed by Pius DC a Doctor of the Church, and one of them, Introduction to the Devout Life, remains among the most popular and valuable of spiritual books. He is the patron of journalists.
Our picture, taken with permission of Sheed & Ward from The Face of the Saints, is considered the most authentic of his portraits.