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St. Francis de Sales

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Saint Francis de Sales

Bishop, Confessor & Doctor of the Church

Francis was born into a French noble family in the year of Our Lord 1567. His mother endeavored to protect Francis from any occasion to sin, telling him the same thing Queen Blanca told her son, the future King St. Louis IX: “I would rather see you dead, than hear that you committed a single mortal sin.” Francis studied multiple subjects, partly in preparation to marry and inherit the family estates as the eldest son, but eventually the young nobleman received his parents’ very reluctant approval to pursue holy orders. Francis quickly gained a reputation for eloquent preaching, and he conquered his naturally hot temper with a devotion to humility and meekness that made him a gentle shepherd to all. He converted many Protestants in Geneva, Switzerland, of which diocese he was eventually made bishop. Francis was a prolific writer, and his book Introduction to the Devout Life is a classic of spiritual reading to this day. He was a friend of St. Vincent de Paul and of St. Jane Frances de Chantal, with whom he founded the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary. Francis died in France in 1622. He is a patron of the deaf, having learned to preach in sign language, and of writers, journalists, and spiritual directors.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for January 29th

AT Lyons, in France, St. Francis of Sales, bishop of Geneva, confessor and Doctor of the Church, who is mentioned on the 28th of December.

At Rome, on the Nomentan road, the birthday of the holy martyrs Papius and Maurus, soldiers under the emperor Diocletian. At their first confession of Christ their mouths were bruised with stones and they were thrown into prison by order of Laodicius, prefect of the city. Afterwards they were beaten with rods and with leaded whips until they expired.

At Perugia, in the time of Marcus Aurelius, St. Constantius, bishop and martyr, who together with his companions, received the crown of martyrdom for the defense of the faith.

At Edessa, in Syria, the holy martyrs Sarbelius and his sister Barbea, who were baptized by the blessed bishop Barsimaeus, and crowned with martyrdom in the persecution of Trajan, under the governor Lysias.

In the territory of Troyes, St. Sabinian, martyr, who was beheaded for the faith of Christ by the command of the emperor Aurelian.

At Milan, St. Aquilinus, priest, who was crowned with martyrdom by having his throat pierced with a sword by the Arians.

At Treves, the demise of the blessed bishop Valerius, disciple of the apostle St. Peter.

At Bourges, St. Sulpicius Severus, bishop, distinguished by his virtues and erudition.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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