Francis de Sales CO OM OFM Cap. (French: François de Sales; Italian: Francesco di Sales; 21 August 1567 – 28 December 1622) was a Bishop of Geneva and is honored as a saint in the Catholic Church. He became noted for his deep faith and his gentle approach to the religious divisions in his land resulting from the Protestant Reformation. He is known also for his writings on the topic of spiritual direction and spiritual formation, particularly the Introduction to the Devout Life and the Treatise on the Love of God.
Francis de Sales
|Bishop and Doctor of the Church|
|Born||21 August 1567|
Château de Sales, Duchy of Savoy, Holy Roman Empire
|Died||28 December 1622 (aged 55)|
Lyons, Lyonnais, Kingdom of France
|Beatified||8 January 1661, Rome, Papal States, by Pope Alexander VII|
|Canonized||8 April 1665, Rome, Papal States, by Pope Alexander VII|
|Attributes||Heart of Jesus, Crown of Thorns|
|Patronage||Baker, Oregon; Cincinnati, Ohio; Catholic press; Columbus, Ohio; confessors; deaf people; educators; Upington, South Africa; Wilmington, Delaware; writers; journalists; the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest; Salesians of Don Bosco|
Francis de Sales
|Bishop of Geneva|
François de Sales
|Appointed||15 July 1602 (Coadjutor)|
|Installed||8 December 1602|
|Term ended||28 December 1622|
|Predecessor||Claude de Granier|
|Successor||Jean-François de Sales|
|Ordination||18 December 1593|
|Consecration||8 December 1602|
|Previous post||Titular Bishop of Nicopolis ad Iaterum (1602)|
|Coat of arms|
Francis de Sales was born on 21 August 1567 in the Château de Sales into the noble Sales family of the Duchy of Savoy, in what is today Thorens-Glières, Haute-Savoie, France. His father was François de Sales, Lord of Boisy, Sales, and Novel. His mother was Françoise de Sionnaz, the only child of prominent magistrate, Melchior de Sionnaz, and a noblewoman. He was baptized Francis Bonaventura, after two great Franciscan saints. His father wanted him, the first of his six sons, to attend the best schools in preparation for a career as a magistrate. He therefore enjoyed a privileged education in the nearby town of La Roche-sur-Foron, and at the age of eight at the Capuchin college in Annecy.
In 1583, De Sales went to the Collège de Clermont (later renamed Lycée Louis-le-Grand) in Paris, then a Jesuit institution, to study rhetoric and humanities. As a nobleman, he was accompanied by his own servant and by a priest tutor, Abbe Deage. To please his father, he took lessons in the gentlemanly pursuits of riding, dancing, and fencing. De Sales is described as intelligent and handsome, tall and well built with blue-grey eyes, somewhat reserved and quiet, and a welcome guest in the homes of the nobility among whom his father had connections.
In 1584 Francis de Sales attended a theological discussion about predestination, convincing him of his damnation to hell. A personal crisis of despair resulted. This conviction lasted through December 1586. His great despair made him physically ill and even bedridden for a time. Sometime in either late December or early January 1587, with great difficulty, he visited the old parish of Saint-Étienne-des-Grès, Paris, where he prayed the "Memorare" before a famed statue of Our Lady of Good Deliverance, a Black Madonna. He consecrated himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and decided to dedicate his life to God with a vow of chastity. He then became a tertiary of the Minim Order.
Sales ultimately concluded that God had good in store for him, because "God is love", as John's First Epistle attests. This faithful devotion to God not only expelled his doubts but also influenced the rest of his life and his teachings. His way of teaching Catholic spirituality is often referred to as the Way of Divine Love, or the Devout Life, taken from a book he wrote of a similar name: Introduction to the Devout Life.
In 1588 Sales completed his studies at Collège de Clermont and enrolled at the University of Padua in Italy, where he studied both law and theology. He took Antonio Possevino, a priest in Society of Jesus, as his spiritual director. There he made up his mind about becoming a priest. In one incident, he rode a horse, and his sword fell to the ground and crossed another sword, making the sign of the Christian cross.
In 1592, de Sales received his doctorate in law and theology. He made a pilgrimage to Loreto, Italy, famous for its Basilica della Santa Casa (Shrine of the Holy House) and then returned home to Savoy. The Senate of Chambéry admitted him as a lawyer. Meanwhile, his father secured various positions for Francis, including an appointment as senator. His father also chose a wealthy noble heiress as his bride. But Francis refused to marry, preferring to stay focused on his chosen path. His father initially refused to accept that Francis had chosen the priesthood rather than fulfill his expectations with a political-military career. Claude de Granier, then Bishop of Geneva, intervened and after signing over to his younger brother his rights of family succession, Francis was ordained in 1593. Immediately he received a promised appointment as provost of the cathedral chapter of Geneva.
In his capacity as provost, Francis de Sales engaged in enthusiastic campaigns of evangelism in an area that had become almost completely Calvinist. According to J. Ehni, despite de Sales' zeal, courage and patience he met with absolute failure at Thonon, the capital of the Chablais province, where the residents had made an agreement to refuse to hear the eloquent preacher. At first Francis lived in a fortress garrisoned by the Duke of Savoy's soldiers. Several times he escaped death at the hands of assassins. He traveled to Rome and Paris, where he forged alliances with Pope Clement VIII and Henry IV of France.
In 1599 he was appointed coadjutor bishop of Geneva. In 1601, he was sent on a diplomatic mission to Henry IV, where he was invited to give Lenten sermons at the Chapel Royal. The morals at court reflected those of the king, which were notoriously bad, yet Henry became personally attached to Francis, and is said to have observed, "A rare bird, this Monsieur de Genève, he is devout and also learned; and not only devout and learned but at the same time a gentleman. A very rare combination."
While in Paris, he also met Cardinal Berulle and was, for a time, Madame Acarie's confessor. They consulted with him on matters such as the introduction of St. Teresa's Carmelites into France and plans for the reforming of monasteries and convents. He was consulted on matters of conscience by persons at court.
In 1602, Bishop Granier died, and Sales was consecrated Bishop of Geneva by Vespasien Gribaldi, assisted by Thomas Pobel and Jacques Maistret, O.Carm. as co-consecrators. He resided in Annecy (now part of modern-day France) because Geneva remained under Calvinist control and therefore closed to him. His diocese became famous throughout Europe for its efficient organization, zealous clergy and well-instructed laity, monumental achievements in those days.
He worked closely with the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, which was very active in preaching the Catholic faith in his diocese. They appreciated his cooperation so much that in 1617 they made him an official associate of the Order, the highest honor possible for a non-member. It is said that at Evian, on the south shore of Lake Geneva, St. Francis of Assisi appeared to him and said: "You desire martyrdom, just as I once longed for it. But, like me, you will not obtain it. You will have to become an instrument of your own martyrdom." During his years as bishop, de Sales acquired a reputation as a spellbinding preacher and something of an ascetic. His motto was, "He who preaches with love, preaches effectively." His goodness, patience and mildness became proverbial.
These last qualities come through in Sales' books, the most famous of which was Introduction to the Devout Life, which – unusual for the time – was written specially for laypeople. In it he counseled charity over penance as a means of progressing in the spiritual life. Sales also left the mystical work, the "Treatise on the Love of God", and many highly valued letters of spiritual direction, including those with Jane Frances de Chantal compiled in the Letters of Spiritual Direction.
Along with St. Jane Frances de Chantal, Sales founded the women's Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary (Visitandines) in Annecy on 6 June 1610. Despite his friendship with Denis-Simon de Marquemont, the archbishop nonetheless restricted the freedoms of de Sales' new order in 1616 by ordering that its members live cloistered lives.
Sales also established a small community of men, an Oratory of St. Philip Neri, at Thonon-les-Bains, with himself as the superior or Provost. This work, however, was crippled by his death, and that foundation soon died out.
In December 1622 de Sales was required to travel in the entourage of Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy, for the Duke's Christmas tour of his domain. Upon arrival in Lyon, he chose to stay in the gardener's hut at the Visitandine monastery in that city. While there he suffered a stroke, from which he died on 28 December 1622.
St. Francis de Sales has been styled "the Gentleman Saint" because of his patience and gentleness. Despite the resistance of the populace of Lyon to moving his remains from that city, Sales was buried on 24 January 1623 in the church of the Monastery of the Visitation in Annecy, which he had founded with Chantal, who was also buried there. Their remains were venerated there until the French Revolution. Many miracles have been reported at his shrine.
De Sales' heart was kept in Lyon, in response to the popular demand of the citizens of the city to retain his remains. During the French Revolution, however, it was saved from the revolutionaries by being carried by the Visitation nuns from Lyons to Venice.
The Roman Catholic Church celebrates St. Francis de Sales' feast on 24 January, the day of his burial in Annecy in 1624. From the year 1666, when his feast day was inserted into the General Roman Calendar, until its 1969 revision, he was celebrated on 29 January, a date still observed by some Traditionalist Catholics.
In 1923, Pope Pius XI proclaimed him a patron of writers and journalists, because he made extensive use of broadsheets and books both in spiritual direction and in his efforts to convert the Calvinists of the region. St. Francis developed a sign language in order to teach a deaf man about God. Because of this, he is the patron saint of the deaf.
Having been founded as the first non-cloistered group of sisters after attempts to do so with the Visitation Sisters founded by de Sales and de Chantal proved unsuccessful, the Sisters of St. Joseph (founded in Le Puys, France, in 1650) take St. Francis de Sales as one of their patrons.
In the 19th century, his vision for religious communities was revived. Several religious institutes were founded during that period for men and women desiring to live out the spiritual path which de Sales had developed.
The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, a society of priests founded in the 20th century, also has St. Francis de Sales as one of their three primary Patrons. One of the major apostolates of the Institute in the United States is the Oratory of St. Francis de Sales in St. Louis, Missouri.
Vincent de Paul met Francis de Sales in Paris in 1618 or 1619. Francis de Sales' spirituality and writings, especially An Introduction to the Devout Life, and Treatise on the Love of God, were to have a profound influence on Vincent.
St Francis de Sales College, Bengaluru, India
St. Francis de Sales elementary school, Lake Geneva, WI, United States.
St. Francis de Sales School, Salisbury, MD, United States
|Catholic Church titles|
|— TITULAR —
Bishop of Nicopolis ad Iaterum
15 July 1602 – 17 September 1602
Claude de Granier
| Bishop of Geneva
17 September 1602 – 28 December 1622
Jean-François de Sales
The Church of All Saints is a parish of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Davenport. The church is located in Keokuk, Iowa, United States. The church building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as St. Peter Church, the name of the congregation that built it.DeSales University
DeSales University (DSU) is a private Catholic university in Center Valley, Pennsylvania. The university offers traditional, online, and hybrid courses and programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Named for St. Francis de Sales, the university was founded in 1964 as "Allentown College of Saint Francis de Sales" by the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales.Father Judge High School
Father Judge High School is a Roman Catholic high school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. It was established in 1954 by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia and is run by the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales.Francis De Sales (actor)
Francis A. De Sales (March 23, 1912 – September 25, 1988) was an American actor. He was known for his roles on two early television series: as police Lieutenant Bill Weigand on the CBS and then NBC drama Mr. and Mrs. North (1952–1954) and as Sheriff Maddox in the syndicated western Two Faces West (1960–1961). In the meantime, he guest-starred on scores of other television programs, often in law-enforcement roles. He appeared four times as Ralph Dobson on the ABC sitcom The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and in five episodes in different roles on CBS's Perry Mason.Memorare
Memorare ("Remember, O Most Gracious Virgin Mary") is a Roman Catholic prayer seeking the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Memorare, from the Latin "Remember", is frequently misattributed to the 12th-century Cistercian monk Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, apparently due to confusion with its 17th-century popularizer, Father Claude Bernard, who stated that he learned it from his own father. It first appears as part of a longer 15th-century prayer, "Ad sanctitatis tuae pedes, dulcissima Virgo Maria."Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales
The Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales (MSFS), also known as the Fransalians, was founded in Annecy, France on 24 October 1838 by Fr. Peter Mermier under the patronage of St. Francis de Sales. The political disturbances in the country, especially the French Revolution had its impact in the spiritual realm too as it left the people in a deep spiritual crisis and indifference towards their religious duties. Sensing the signs of the time Fr. Mermier took upon himself the task of a spiritual renewal in his people by preaching parish missions. This special apostolate in turn gave rise to a community of preachers gathered around Fr. Mermier.Oblates of St. Francis de Sales
The Oblates of St. Francis de Sales (Latin: Oblati Sancti Francisci Salesii, O.S.F.S.) are a congregation of Roman Catholic priests and brothers who follow the teachings of St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal. The community was founded in Troyes, France in 1875 by Louis Brisson and are affiliated with the Oblate Sisters of St. Francis de Sales.)Roman Catholic Diocese of Marquette
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Marquette (Latin: Dioecesis Marquettensis) is a suffragan diocese of the Roman rite, encompassing all of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, in the ecclesiastical province of the Archdiocese of Detroit. It encompasses an area of 16,281 square miles (42,152 square kilometers).
Its cathedral is St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette, which replaced Holy Name of Mary Pro-Cathedral at Sault Ste. Marie.
In 2000, the number of registered Catholics in the diocese was 65,500. There were fifty-eight diocesan priests and 11 religious at 74 parishes and 23 missions. There were 10 parish grade schools. Sixty-three women religious were also in service to the diocese.Saint Francis De Sales Catholic Church (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Saint Francis De Sales Catholic Church is located at 2900 Woodburn Avenue in the East Walnut Hills neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio, United States.
The congregation was organized in 1849, and its first building was dedicated on November 3, 1850. The parish patron is Saint Francis de Sales. The cornerstone was laid June 30, 1878, by Archbishop John Baptist Purcell, in the presence of nearly 10,000 persons. The edifice was dedicated December 20, 1879. The interior contains one of the finest altars in the United States, costing $20,000. The parent parishes were St. Mary's Church in Over-the-Rhine and St. Paul Church in Pendleton. The original congregation was mostly German.
The main altar at St. Francis de Sales was consecrated by Archbishop W.H. Elder on April 27, 1887. It was a gift of Joseph Kleine and his wife Agnes Kleine, and was sculpted by Fred and Henry Schroeder of Cincinnati from designs by A. Kloster of New York. The altar of pure white Rutland marble and the white marble floor cost $20,000. The altar's onyx pillars and delicate Gothic spires are flanked by statues of SS. Joseph and Agnes in honor of the donors' patron saints.
The church is home to Joseph, aka "Big Joe", the largest swinging bell ever cast in the United States. VanDuzen Company (formerly Buckeye Bell Foundry) at Second and Broadway downtown. The bell measures 9 by 7 feet (2.7 m × 2.1 m) in diameter and height respectively; it weighs 35,000 pounds (16,000 kg), including a 640 pounds (290 kg) clapper. Named for the parishioner whose donation to the bell fund was the largest, the bell reputedly could be heard 15 miles (24 km) away when first rung, rattling nearby buildings and loosening stone & mortar. It was soon decided to immobilize the bell, and for more than a century "Big Joe" has relied on a foot hammer striking its rim.
In early 1974, the church, its parish school, and its rectory were declared a historic district, the "St. Francis De Sales Church Historic District", and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.Saint Francis de Sales Cathedral (Baker City, Oregon)
Saint Francis de Sales Cathedral is a Catholic cathedral and parish church located in Baker City, Oregon, United States. Completed in 1908, it is the seat of the Diocese of Baker. The cathedral church and the parish rectory were included as contributing properties in the Baker Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, in 1978.Saint Francis de Sales Seminary
Saint Francis de Sales Seminary is a seminary for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee, located in the Milwaukee suburb of St. Francis, Wisconsin. Its main building, called Henni Hall, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.Salesians of Don Bosco
The Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB; also known as the Salesian Society or Salesian Order; officially named the Society of St Francis de Sales) is a Roman Catholic Latin Rite religious institute founded in the late nineteenth century by Italian priest Saint John Bosco to help poor children during the Industrial Revolution.
The Salesians' charter describes the society's mission as "the Christian perfection of its associates obtained by the exercise of spiritual and corporal works of charity towards the young, especially the poor, and the education of boys to the priesthood". The institute is named after Francis de Sales, an early-modern bishop from Geneva.St. Francis de Sales High School
St. Francis de Sales High School or DeSales High School may refer to various Catholic high schools named for Francis de Sales:
St. Francis de Sales High School (Chicago, Illinois)
DeSales High School (Louisville, Kentucky)
DeSales High School (Geneva, New York)
St. Francis DeSales High School (Columbus, Ohio)
St. Francis de Sales High School (Toledo, Ohio)
Desales Catholic High School (Walla Walla, Washington)St. Francis de Sales High School (Chicago, Illinois)
St. Francis de Sales High School is a private, Roman Catholic High School in Chicago, Illinois. It is located on the southeast side of the city, in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago.St. Francis de Sales Oratory (St. Louis)
St. Francis de Sales Church (the Oratory of Saint Francis de Sales) is a Roman Catholic Oratory located in south St. Louis, Missouri, United States. It is the second largest church in the Archdiocese of St. Louis after the cathedral-basilica. The church is popularly known as the "Cathedral of South St. Louis."
The historic main church was designed in the neo-Gothic style. Its stained glass windows were crafted by the St. Louis glazier Emil Frei, Sr. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Since 2005 the church has been operated by the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, which practices the Latin liturgy and emphasizes the liturgical arts, with a strong music program.St. Francis de Sales Roman Catholic Church (Buffalo, New York)
Saint Francis de Sales Roman Catholic Church is located at 407 Northland Ave, in Buffalo, New York. The Italian Romanesque Revival style church previously served as a parish of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. The church was closed by the Roman Catholic Diocese in 1993. The church is a Buffalo landmark.St. Francis de Sales Roman Catholic Church (Philadelphia)
St. Francis de Sales Roman Catholic Church, founded in 1890, is a Catholic church at 4625 Springfield Avenue in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Its cornerstone laid in 1907, the Guastavino tiled dome of the de Sales parish has been an icon in its neighborhood. The de Sales parish was designed by Philadelphia architect Henry D. Dagit, built in the Byzantine Revival style and incorporates a Guastavino tile dome modeled on that of Istanbul's Hagia Sophia and elements of the Arts and Crafts movement which was at its peak when the church was built.St. Francis de Sales School (Toledo, Ohio)
St. Francis de Sales School or SFS is a private, all-male, college-preparatory school in Toledo, Ohio. It is located within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Toledo. The school was named as one of the top 20 Catholic high schools in the nation for academics by Catholic High School Honor Roll for two consecutive years in 2005 and 2006.St Francis de Sales, Hampton Hill and Upper Teddington
St Francis de Sales, Hampton Hill and Upper Teddington is a Roman Catholic church in Hampton Hill, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. Constructed in 1966, it was designed by Burles, Newton & Partners, who also completed the nave at St Aidan's Roman Catholic Church, Coulsdon in the London Borough of Croydon.
Mass is held every morning and also on Saturday and Sunday evenings.
of the faithful
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