Today is the Feast of St. Francis De Sales (1567-1622). Born to an aristocratic family in Savoy, he studied law and theology at the University of Padua before being ordained a priest in 1593. He was named Bishop of Geneva in 1602. In 1610, he and St. Jane Frances de Chantal founded the Visitation Sisters. St. Francis was also a highly regarded spiritual director and author. His pamphlets defending the Church were collected into a book, The Catholic Controversy. But his most influential work is Introduction to the Devout Life (1609), a compilation of letters on the spiritual life addressed to “Philothea” (“lover of God”). It’s still in print today, for its central theme is still relevant, the idea that holiness is for everyone. This is what he had to say about the call to holiness:
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St. Francis was canonized in 1662 and named a Doctor of the Church in 1877. He is the patron saint of journalists. And because of his efforts to evangelize the hearing impaired, he is also the patron saint of the Deaf.