Monday, January 24, 2011

St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis de Sales, Marian Shrine, Stony Point, NY

Photo by Esther G.
It appears that Francis of Sales was given to the Church by God for a very special mission. His task was to give the lie to a prejudice which in his lifetime was deeply rooted and has not been destroyed even today, that the ideal of genuine sanctity held up for our imitation by the Church is impossible of attainment or, at best, is so difficult that it surpasses the capabilities of the great majority of the faithful and is, therefore, to be though of as the exclusive possession of a few great souls. Saint Francis likewise disproved the false idea that holiness, was so hedged around by annoyances and hardship that it is unadaptable to a life outside the cloister walls." - Pope Pius XI RERUM OMNIUM PERTURBATIONEM ENCYCLICAL OF POPE PIUS XI ON ST. FRANCIS DE SALES
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"Remember what I have often said to you: do honor to your devotion; make it very amiable to all those who may know you, especially to your family; act so that every one may speak well of it..." - Letter to a woman, on obtaining true devotion and peace of soul.

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"As to conversations, my dearest daughter, be at peace regarding what is said or done in them: for if they are good, you have something to praise God for, and if they are bad, you have something in which to serve God by turning your heart away from them. Do not appear either shocked or displeased by bad conversations, since you cannot prevent them, and have not authority enough to hinder the bad words of those who will say them, and who will say worse if you seem to wish to hinder them. For acting thus you will remain innocent among the hissings of the serpents, and like a sweet strawberry you will receive no venom from the contact of venomous tongues." - Letter to a woman on dealing with improper conversations.
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"First, accept the pain from His hand, as if you saw Him Himself putting and pressing it on your head.
Second, offer yourself to suffer more.
Third, beg our Savior by the merit of His torments to accept these little distresses in union with the pains He suffered on the Cross.
Next, protest that you wish not only to suffer, but to love and cherish these sufferings since they are sent from so good and so sweet a hand.
Lastly, invoke the martyrs and the many servants of God, who enjoy Heaven as a result of their having been afflicted in this world..." -Letter to a woman suffering great physical pain.

Source: Thy Will Be Done by St. Francis de Sales
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"Theotimus, it is a thing strange yet true that if the damned were not blinded by their obstinacy and hatred for God, they would find consolation in their torments and see how wonderfully diviner mercy is mingled with the flames that eternally consume them..."
by Tiepolo
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"Holy indifference must be practiced in things that concern natural life, such as health, sickness, beauty, ugliness, weakness, and strength, in things concerning civil life, such as honors, rank, and wealth; in the various aspects of the spiritual life, such as dryness, consolation, delight, and aridity; and in actions, and in sufferings-- in sum, in every event of every kind..."
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"Lord, You are the royal cavalier who turns the hearts of Your faithful lovers about in every way. Sometimes You urge them forward with full rein, and they run at full speed in the tasks to which You inspire them. Then when it seems good to You, You make them stop in mid-career, and when strongest in their course."

Source: Finding God's Will for You, by St. Francis of Sales, Sophia Press

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O glorious Saint Francis, model of the interior life, and full of zeal for the salvation of souls! obtain for me the grace to employ all my faculties, not for my own sanctification alone, but for that of my neighbor also; that continually spreading abroad the sweet order of Jesus Christ by my words and works, I may again with thee, the blessedness promised to the merciful: "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy"; and that I may one day have a share in the glory which thou enjoyedst in paradise with the angels and saints, where those that edify and instruct to justice, shall shine as stars for all eternity (Dan. 12:3).
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Prayer for Perfect Conversion

O blessed Saint Francis of Sales, who in thy mortal life didst excel in all virtues, especially in love for God and the neighbor: I earnestly entreat thee to take me under thy immediate protection, and to obtain of God my perfect conversion, and that of all sinners. Teach me, O my Father! to fix my eyes on heave, than I may generously trample under foot every obstacle that presents itself in my way, and attain that degree of glory, which God in His infinite mercy holds out to me. Amen.

Prayer Source The Prayer Book Catholic Book Press

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