The teachings of St. Francis de Sales, whose feast we celebrate Jan. 24, are as relevant today as they were 400 years ago.
Joseph Pronechen BlogsJanuary 24, 2023
St. Francis de Sales, one of the 37 Doctors of the Church, also had another honorary title — Doctor of Charity — because of the gentle way he drew straying sheep back to the Church while deepening the devotion of those already in the fold. As a young priest, before becoming bishop of Geneva, he re-evangelized the whole population of Calvinists in Chablais, France. At night he would slip his writings under the doors of anti-Catholics. The result: more than 70,000 people returning to the Church.
To celebrate the 400th anniversary of St. Francis de Sales, TAN Books has released a four-volume set of his writings, The St. Francis de Sales Signature Set. From just one of the books alone — one highlighting consoling thoughts — we can see a beautiful sample of what this great saint, the patron of journalists, teaches everyone. He wanted to reach everyone and therefore made his timeless writings simple to understand for all, being most comfortable among the simple himself.
He applies to himself what he counsels to others:
I know what sort of a being I am; yet even though I feel myself miserable, I am not troubled at it; nay, I am sometimes joyful at it, considering that I am a truly fit object for the mercy of God, to which I continually recommend you.
Since at every season of life, early or late, in youth or in old age, I can expect my salvation from the pure goodness and mercy of God alone, it is much better to cast myself from this moment into the arms of His clemency than to wait till another time.
This saint begins his consoling writings by focusing on the love God has for us from all eternity:
That God looks upon you with love you have no reason to doubt, for He looks upon the most dreadful sinners in the world lovingly when they have the least true desire to be converted to Him. Tell me, do you not intend to belong to God? Do you not desire to serve Him faithfully? And who gave you this desire, this intention, unless Himself in His loving regard for you?
After mentioning some of the weaknesses that bring us misery, he continues:
But enough! Live joyful; Our Lord looks upon you with love, and with so much the more tenderness as you are the more feeble. Never permit your mind willingly to entertain thoughts to the contrary; and when they come, regard them not, turn your eyes away from their iniquity, and have recourse to God with a courageous humility, to speak to Him of His ineffable goodness by which He loves us, poor, abject, and miserable as we are.
READ ON BELOW…The Holy and Wise St. Francis de Sales Has Some Advice to Help You Become a Saint| National Catholic Register
The Holy and Wise St. Francis de Sales Has Some Advice to Help You Become a Saint| National Catholic Register