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9 Things to Know About the Holy Life of Saint Francis De Sales, Patron of Catholic Journalists

The Catholic Church celebrates the feast day of Saint Francis de Sales on January 24.

Saint Francis de Sales is venerated as the patron saint of writers, journalists, and the Catholic press. He was born in 1567 in France.

Here are nine more things to know about the life and legacy of this incredible saint followed by a special prayer he wrote for peace.

Caroline Perkins, ChurchPOP

1. Saint Francis de Sales received his doctorate in law at 24 years old. Then, despite his father’s hesitation, Francis de Sales entered the priesthood.

2. He lived during the Protestant Reformation and worked to bring Calvinists back to the Catholic Church. He became the bishop of Geneva at 35 years old.

Caroline Perkins, ChurchPOP

3. Saint Francis de Sales is the patron saint of Catholic press because he was one of the first to use written communication to spread the faith to fallen-away Catholics. This approach was wildly successful.

4. He was known for his patient and gentle nature.

5. He founded the Institute of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin with the help of Saint Jane Frances de Chantal.

Caroline Perkins, ChurchPOP

6. During his time, many thought holiness was reserved for those with a vocation to religious life. However, Saint Francis de Sales worked to spread the truth that everyone is called to holiness–including laymen and women.

7. Saint Francis de Sales gave spiritual direction to many through written letters.

Caroline Perkins, ChurchPOP

8. His book, “An Introduction to the Devout Life,” continues to encourage the faithful on their path to sainthood. Saint Francis de Sales offered many bits of wisdom that are relevant even today.

9. He was named a Doctor of the Church in 1877.

Saint Francis de Sales Prayer

Be at peace.
Do not look forward in fear to the changes of life;
rather look to them with full hope as they arise.
God, whose very own you are, will deliver you from out of them.
He has kept you hitherto, and He will lead you safely through all things;
and when you cannot stand it, God will bury you in his arms.
Do not fear what may happen tomorrow;
the same everlasting Father who cares for you today
will take care of you then and every day.
He will either shield you from suffering or give you unfailing strength to bear it.
Be at peace, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imagination.
– Saint Francis de Sales

Prayer Source

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