Update: After initial outrage, details of students exchange emergePrevious Article
On flight to Panama, Pope confirms November trip to JapanNext Article
Breaking News

Saint Francis De Sales Patron Of All Media Pray For Us

Line Spacing+- AFont Size+- Print This Article
Saint Francis De Sales Patron Of All Media Pray For Us



by  Father Henry Peter MSFS

January 24th is the feast day of St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622), the patron saint of Media: writers and journalists. He was born on 21st August 1567 at Thorens, France. He studied in Annecy, Paris in a Jesuit institution and received his doctorate in civil law at the University of Padua, Italy. He was ordained Deacon on 18th September 1593 and Priest on 18th December 1593 in the Cathedral of Annecy. His Episcopal ordination as the Bishop of Geneva in the Church of Thorens was on 8th Dec.1602. He got attack of apoplexy on 27th December 1622 and passed away on 28th Dec.1622 at 8: oo pm at Lyon and despite the resistance of the populace of Lyon to moving his remains from that city, Francis de Sales was buried on 24 January 1623 in the church of the Monastery of the Visitation in Annecy. He was beatified by Pope Alexander VII on 28th Dec.1661 and canonized by Pope Alexander VII on 19th April, 1665. He was declared “Doctor of the Church” by Pope Pius IX on 1877 and has been styled “the Gentleman Saint” because of his patience and gentleness. 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 taken to Venice, where it is venerated today.

During the time of the Protestant reformation and within 18 months of his ordination as a Priest, Fr. Francis volunteered to go to one of the highly protestantized areas from which priests had been exiled to serve and re-evangelize the persecuted Catholics there. Francis lived close to Calvinist territory and he decided that he should lead an expedition to bring the 60,000 Calvinists back to the Catholic Church. No one would listen to him; no one would even open their door. Their Calvinist followers were forbidden to even listen to anything Fr. Francis had to say. But Fr. Francis de Sales was ahead of his time! So, Francis found a way to get under the door. He wrote out little pamphlets to explain true Catholic doctrine and slipped them under the doors. This is one of the first records we have of religious tracts being used to communicate the true Catholic faith to people who had fallen away from the Church. These teachings were later published in one volume called Controversies. He had much success with his efforts. Catholics who had just given up their faith, returned to it. By the time Francis returned home, it is believed he brought 40,000 people to the Catholic Church.

Three hundred fifty-four years before the Second Vatican Council, St. Francis de Sales was absorbed with the universal call to holiness. He devoted much of his life and writings in assisting the lay faithful to fulfill their mission in the church. St. Francis insisted that every Baptized Christian is called to sanctity, no matter what their career or state of life. In every career and state of life, Christians can become more and more like Jesus Christ, our Risen Lord. As he said, “There are two elements in the spiritual life: firstly, a struggle against our own nature; and secondly, union of our wills with God; in other words, Penance and Love.” St. Francis de Sales looks chiefly to love. It does not mean that he neglects penance, which is absolutely necessary, but he wishes it to be practiced from a motive of love. His Principle workscommunicate his spirituality: “Controversies”, “Defense of the Standard of the Cross”, “An Introduction to the Devout Life”(1608), “Treatise on the Love of God” (1609-1616), “Spiritual Conferences”, “Sermons” and “Letters”.

In 1923, Pope Pius XI named St. Francis de Sales the patron saint of Catholic writers and the Catholic press because of the tracts and books he wrote (RERUM OMNIUM PERTURBATIONEM by Pope Pius XI Encyclical promulgated on 26 January 1923/ 34. Since St. Francis, up to this time, has not been named the Patron of Writers in any solemn and public document of this Apostolic See, We take this happy occasion, after mature deliberation and in full knowledge, by Our Apostolic authority, to hereby publish, confirm and declare by this encyclical, everything to the contrary notwithstanding, St. Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva and Doctor of the Church, to be the Heavenly Patron of all Writers.) He is also the patron saint of the deaf, journalists, adult education.

He used media for his evangelization. Media is one of the marvelous inventions human beings have created. It has an ability to lift humanity or damage it.  Therefore, Media should promote the unity of people and assist in the struggle to improve the quality of life in societies.  The ultimate purpose of media doesn’t reside in its ability to entertain and provide emotional stimulation but the social object to communication is to foster brotherhood and unity. St. Francis gave spiritual direction to lay people who were living real lives in the real world. He had proven with his own life that people could grow in holiness while involved in a very active occupation.

Some of his Quotes:

1. Mount Calvary is the mount of lovers.
2. To see God and not to love Him is impossible.
3. The measure of Love is to love without measure.
4. Trying to live like angels that we neglect to be good human.
5. Love is the universal means of the salvation.
6. We must fear God out of love, not love Him out of fear.
7. Supreme love exists only in charity.
8. To love is the law of our being.
9. Good is the source and origin of love.
10. He who has won the heart of human has won the whole being.




Vatican Live Video Feed

Pope Francis on Twitter