St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622) was a prolific author who was once Bishop of Geneva, Switzerland.  He is best remembered for his wonderful books on the topic of spiritual direction and spiritual formation.  He has been called "the Gentleman Saint" on account of his patience and gentleness.

2012.12.31.,Paris,,France,,A,Nun,Is,Praying,In,Front,Of

The Soul’s Choice of a Devout Life

Preparation 1. Place thyself in the presence of God. 2. Prostrate thyself before Him, and seek His aid. Reflections 1. Once more imagine yourself in a wide plain alone with your good angel; and on the left hand behold the devil sitting on a high and lofty throne, surrounded by infernal spirits, and by a…

Prague,,Czech,Republic,-,October,13,,2018:,The,Fresco,Of

Sermon for Ash Wednesday: Fasting

THESE first four days of the holy season of Lent serve as a preface to indicate the preparation that we ought to make in order to spend Lent well and to dispose ourselves to fast well. That is why I thought of speaking to you, in this exhortation, of the conditions which render fasting good…

Annecy,,France,-,July,10,,2022:,The,Painting,Of,St.

Maxims for Perseverance in Piety

TO LIVE constantly in devotion, we have only to establish sound principles or maxims in our soul. The first which I desire you to adopt is that of St. Paul: “All things work together for good to those who love God.” And truly, since God is able and understands how to draw good from evil,…

Rome,,Italy,-,August,31,,2021:,The,Painting,Of,St.

Devotion For Every Vocation

In the creation God commanded the plants of the earth to bring forth fruit, each after its kind; and in a similar way He commands Christians, who are the living plants of His Church, to bring forth the fruits of devotion, each according to his calling and vocation. There is a different practice of devotion…

Mary,And,Joseph,Journey,In,The,Desert,,Watercolor,Painting,Sketch.

The Coming of the Divine Infant

Saint Francis de Sales spoke the following words in a Christmas Eve Sermon on December 24, 1613. The below sermon is presented in a shorter form. HOLY Church usually prepares us for great solemnities with vigils to help us appreciate more the great benefits we have received from God in the events celebrated. In the…

Ukraine,,Odessa,Region,,Village,Petrodolinskoe,€“,June,,22,,2017:,Orthodox

The Humility of St. John the Baptist

As the great St. Ambrose says, truly one must be clothed and armed on all sides with humility if one wishes to enter into the combat and war against vice. Our glorious St. John was indeed armed with this virtue. O God, how wonderfully present it was in this great saint! For he was neither…

Rome,,Italy,-,March,9,,2016:,The,Healing,Of,A

Prayers Suitable to the Sick

The bed of the sick is an altar of sacrifice…Happy is the just man who disturbs not the sacrifice by his murmurs and his cries, who adores the beneficent hand that is hidden under the instruments which it vouchsafes to employ, who blesses the salutary strokes, who feels the honor of the distinction! How brilliant…

View,Of,English,Coastal,Area,With,Distant,Old,Church,,Ocean

The Rapidity of Time

These temporal years pass away; the months are reduced to weeks, the weeks to days, the days to hours, and the hours to moments, which are all that we possess, but which we possess only in proportion as they perish. The more perishable our existence, the more amiable ought it to be to us, since…

Cathedral,Of,The,Immaculate,Conception,In,La,Plata,,Argentina

To Attain Perfection We Must Patiently Endure Our Imperfection

We must have our mind settled on two points: one, to expect the growth of weeds in our garden; the other, to have courage to witness their removal, and to lend a hand ourselves. For self-love will not die as long as we live, and it is the origin of all those unwelcome productions. Man…

The,Death,Of,St.,Joseph

Patience in Sickness

I find in the Gospel a perfect model of this virtue in the person of St. Peter’s mother-in-law. This good woman, attacked by a heavy fever, remained tranquil and peaceful, without any uneasiness herself, and without causing any to those around her. She was content to suffer her malady in patience and in meekness. O…

St.,Anna's,Cathedral,In,Belfast

Preserving Peace of Soul in Times of Trial

Nothing disturbs us so much as self-love and self-esteem. If our heart does not overflow with tender emotions, if our mind does not teem with sublime sentiments, if our soul is not inundated with exquisite sweetness, we are sad. If anything difficult is to be done, if any obstacle opposes our just designs, behold us…

Bergamo,-,January,26:,Death,Of,St.,Joseph,Paint,From

God Does Not Abandon Us at the Hour of Death

As a gentle mother, leading her little child with her, helps it to walk, carries it according as she sees necessity, allows it to make some steps by itself in places which are very smooth, and not at all dangerous, sometimes taking it by the hand and steadying it, sometimes lifting it up in her…

Vienna,,Austira,-,Juni,24,,2021:,The,Fresco,Of,Scene

The Mercy of God on the Return of a Sinner

“If sin abounds in malice to destroy, grace superabounds to repair.” -St. Francis de Sales The entrance of sin takes away life from the heart and from all its good works; the entrance of grace restores life to the heart and to all its good works.  A severe winter kills the plants of the field,…

Venice,,Italy,-,March,14,,2014:,Sacrificio,Di,Isacco,(abraham

We Should Abandon Ourselves to God in Life and in Death

Among the praises given by the saints to Abraham, St. Paul mentions this above every other, that he believed, hoping against all hope. God has promised to multiply his posterity as the stars of heaven, and as the sand of the seashore; and, notwithstanding, gave him an order to sacrifice his only son. Yet Abraham…

The,Last,Supper,,Jesus,The,Statue,Of,A,Fresco,Painting

Love of Jesus for Sinners

Our Lord, the great and excellent physician of our infirmities, announced everywhere, before coming into this world, both His arrival and the maladies He would cure; sometimes by His prophets: “I will bind up that which was broken and I will comfort that which was weak.  The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me; to…

Valenciennes,,France.,2017/9/14.,Saint,Eligius,(also,Eloy,,Eloi,Or,Loye)

To Attain Perfection We Must Endure Our Imperfection

The feast of the Purification has no octave; it should continue our whole life. We must have our mind settled on two points; one, to expect the growth of weeds in our garden; the other, to have courage to witness their removal, and to lend a hand ourselves. For self-love will not die as long…

The,Crucifixion,,By,Pietro,Lorenzetti,,1340s,,Italian,Renaissance,Painting,,Tempera,

Sermon for Good Friday on the Passion of Christ

Sermon for Good Friday, March 25, 1622, concerning the brass serpent which saved the Israelites, the sinlessness of Christ, the manner in which He redeemed us, the two natures of Christ and our three “natures,” Our Lord as Savior, how our salvation comes from looking upon our Savior, Our Lord’s seven last words, His prayer…

The,Historic,Cloisters,Of,Glasgow,University.,Panorama,Of,The,Exterior

The Excellence of Abandonment to God

Abandonment is the virtue of virtues; it is the cream of charity, the fragrance of humility, the sweetness of patience, and the fruit of perseverance.  Great is this virtue, and worthy of being practiced by the beloved children of God. “My Father,” says our good Savior on the cross, “into Thy hands I commend my…

Rome,,Italy,-,August,31,,2021:,The,Painting,Of,St.

Lenten Meditation on Eternal Happiness by St. Francis de Sales

Sermon for the Second Sunday of Lent, February 20, 1622, concerning our inability to comprehend eternal happiness, the ability of the soul in Heaven to use its faculties to understand clearly and to love ardently, the soul’s joy in heavenly conversations with angels, saints, Our Lady, Our Lord, and with the Most Holy Trinity, the…

Prague,,Czech,Republic,-,October,13,,2018:,The,Fresco,Of

St. Francis de Sales Sermon for Ash Wednesday

Sermon for Ash Wednesday, February 9, 1622, concerning the spiritual fruits of fasting and the conditions which make fasting pleasing to God: fasting universally, that is, with all the senses and with the understanding, memory, and the appetites of the will; how completely the primitive Christians fasted, fasting through humility rather than through vanity, fasting…