St. Francis de Sales was born in the Kingdom of Savoy near Geneva, Switzerland on August 21, 1567. He was a Bishop and Doctor of the Church.

He had a vocation to the priesthood, but kept it from his disapproving family.

In 1580, Francis attended the University of Paris, and at 24-years-old, he received his doctorate in law at the University of Padua.

All the time, he never lost his passion for God.

One day while Francis was out riding, he fell from his horse three times. Each time he fell, his sword came out of the case and both came to rest on the ground in the shape of the Christian cross.

Francis became ordained to the priesthood and elected provost of the Diocese of Geneva, in 1593.

During the time of the Protestant reformation, Francis decided he would try to bring the 60,000 Calvinists back to the Catholic Church.

He wrote pamphlets to explain true Catholic doctrine and slipped them under the doors.

In 1602, Francis was consecrated Bishop of Geneva and in 1610 he founded The Order of Visitation.

He laid the groundwork for the teaching of the Second Vatican Council on what is now called the “universal call to holiness.”

His most famous book, INTRODUCTION TO THE DEVOUT LIFE, was written for ordinary lay people in 1608, not just the clergy and religious.

As he became older and ill he wanted to be a hermit but he was more in demand than ever. The Pope needed him, then a princess, then Louis XIII.

He ultimately died on December 28, 1622.

St. Francis de Sales was beatified in 1662 and canonized in 1665 by Pope Alexander VII.

St. Francis de Sales the patron saint of Catholic writers and the Catholic press. His feast day is celebrated on January 24.

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