The Rule, Article 4

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Francis de Sales, (1567-1622) was was the first-born of twelve children of a noble French family in the 16th century. The Jesuits provided his intellectual and spiritual formation. Francis experienced a personal theological crisis in his adult life which resulted in serious illness. After regaining his health he dedicated his life to God, became a priest, choosing to serve God instead of money. Francis came to the conclusion that whatever God had in store for him was good, because God is Love, as Scripture attests. This faithful devotion to the God of love influenced the rest of his life and his teachings.

In 1602 Francis was consecrated Bishop of Geneva, and became a very effective preacher and a friend of the poor 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. In 1923, Pope Pius XI proclaimed him a patron of writers and journalists, because of the books he wrote, Introduction to the Devout Life and Treatise on the Love of God, along with many letters of spiritual direction.

Along with Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, Francis founded the women's Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary in Annecy on 6 June 1610. The order of the Salesians of Don Bosco (s.d.b.), founded by St John Bosco, is named after him, as are the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales (o.s.f.s.), founded by Louis Brisson, and the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales, founded by Peter Mermier in 1830. The Paulist Fathers also count him as one of their patrons.

The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, a Society of Traditional Priests who celebrate the Latin Mass also has St. Francis De Sales as one of their three primary Patrons. One of the largest Apostolates of the Institute in the United States is the Oratory of St. Francis De Sales in St. Louis, Missouri. Another location of their ministry is the Oratory of St. Patrick’s, 8th and Cherry, Kansas City, Missouri.

These developments are indicative of the influence for good one single person can be. Pope Alexander VII canonized him in the year 1665. He was declared a Doctor of the Church by Blessed Pius IX in 1877.


O love eternal, my soul needeth and chooseth Thee eternally!

Ah, come Holy Ghost, and inflame our hearts with Thy love!

To love -- or to die!

To die -- and to love!

To die to all other love in order to live in Jesus' love, so that we may not die eternally;

but that we may live in Thine eternal love, O Saviour of our souls, we eternally sing, "Live, Jesus!

Jesus, I love!

Live, Jesus, whom I love!

Jesus, I love, Jesus Who liveth and reigneth forever and ever.


From The Treatise on the Love of God.

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