Friday, January 24, 2014

Saint Francis De Sales

St Francis De Sales (1567-1622)
St. Francis de Sales was born in the Savoy district of France in 1567 and ordained a priest in 1593. Francis was sent to preach in a Protestant region near his birthplace, attempting to persuade his hearers, mostly Calvinists to become Roman Catholics. Since he was seen to be persuasive, he was appointed in 1602 to be bishop of Geneva, a Calvinist stronghold.  In 1604 he met a widow, Jane Frances de Chantal (1572-1641), and under his influence she founded a religious order of nuns called the Order of the Visitation. Their correspondence is an outstanding example of mutual Christian encouragement and support. Francis died at Lyons on December 29th, 1622.
Some quotes from his book “Introduction to the devout life.”
 - Nothing makes us so prosperous in this world as to give alms.
 - It is to those who have the most need of us that we ought to show our love more especially.
 - Let us run to Mary, and, as her little children, cast ourselves into her arms with a perfect   confidence.
 - Salvation is shown to faith, it is prepared for hope, but it is given only to charity.
 - We must fear God out of love, not love Him out of fear.
 - We are not drawn to God by iron chains, but by sweet attractions and holy inspirations.
 - Man is the perfection of the Universe. The spirit is the perfection of man. Love is the perfection of the spirit, and charity that of love. Therefore, the love of God is the end, the perfection of the Universe.
 - The highest degree of meekness consists in seeing, serving, honoring, and treating amiably, on occasion, those who are not to our taste, and who show themselves unfriendly, ungrateful, and troublesome to us.
 - Our greatest fault is that we wish to serve God in our way, not in His way -  according to our will, not according to His will. When He wishes us to be sick, we wish to be well; when He desires us to serve Him by sufferings, we desire to serve Him by works; when He wishes us to exercise charity, we wish to exercise humility; when He seeks from us resignation, we wish for devotion, a spirit of prayer or some other virtue. And this is not because the things we desire may be more pleasing to Him, but because they are more to our taste. This is certainly the greatest obstacle we can raise to our own perfection.

The above stained-glass window is from the St Francis De Sales Cathedral in Baker City, my former parish. It was crafted by the Povey Brothers of Portland in 1923, and is situated in the apse, behind the newly-erected baldacchino, which is above the tabernacle.

No comments:

Post a Comment