Saint Francis de Sales – January 24

St Francis de Sales was a Bishop and is a Doctor of the church. As a young man he was sent to Padua to study law to prepare to succeed his father as senator for the province of Savoy in France. His father was not happy to learn that Francis wanted to join the seminary and become a priest, but after much persuasion by Francis, his father consented to let him go. Francis was ordained and elected provost of the Diocese of Geneva, then a center for the Calvinists. Francis set out to convert them, especially in the district of Chablais, by preaching and distributing the little pamphlets he wrote to explain true Catholic doctrine. He had remarkable success. At 35, he became bishop of Geneva. While administering his diocese he continued to preach, hear confessions, and catechize the children. His gentle character was a great asset in winning souls. He practiced his own axiom, “A spoon full of honey attracts more flies than a barrel full of vinegar.” Besides his two well-known books, the Introduction to the Devout Life and A Treatise on the Love of God, he wrote many pamphlets and carried on a vast correspondence. For his writings, he has been named patron of the Catholic Press.

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