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,…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Mourning Those Whom We Have Lost

“Raise up your eyes often to Heaven; and see that this life is only a passage to eternity.” -St. Francis de Sales If we lose our parents and friends, we ought not to be too much distressed; for there is no reason in the world why we should desire those whom we love to remain…

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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…

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