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Monday, January 29, 2007

Happy Feast of St. Francis de Sales!

Today, on the old Church calendar, is the feast of St. Francis de Sales. Most bloggers touched on this doctor of the Church last week, when his feast rolled around on the new calendar. In my family, we try to mark the feast day for each of our patron saints by doing something special. However, because St. Francis is my patron saint I should have know everyone would have been sick or teething or extra sassy. So, I'll do a quick blog post on the patron saint of writers before heading to bed early in the hopes of thwarting whatever bug is going around my family.
A prolific writer, St. Francis de Sales is credited with converting 60,000 Calvinists around Geneva and Chablais. He also co-founded a religious order, The Sisters of the Visitation of the Holy Mary, with St. Jane Francis de Chantal. Probably his most well known work is 'Introduction to the Devout Life' which I've been trying to finish reading for the last year. I think I'll just have to start over at this point. The information is invaluable, I'm just not into 17th century prose. You can learn much more here. For now, enjoy this excerpt from The Devout Life.
"Tell them that there are two manner of men who need frequent Communion--those who are perfect, since being ready they were much to blame did they not come to the Source and Fountain of all perfection; and the imperfect, that they may learn how to become perfect; the stong, lest they become weak, and the weak, that they may become strong; the sick that they may be healed, and the sound lest they sicken.Tell them that you, imperfect, weak and ailing, need frequently to communicate with your Perfection, your Strength, your Physician.Tell them that those who are but little engaged in worldly affairs should communicate often, because they have leisure; and those who are heavily pressed with business, because they stand so much in need of help; and he who is hard worked needs frequent and substantial food. Tell them that you receive the Blessed Sacrament that you may learn to receive it better; one rarely does that well which one seldom does. Therefore, my child, communicate frequently, as often as you can, subject to the advice of your spiritual father. Our mountain hares turn white in winter, because they live in , and feed upon, the snow, and by dint of adoring and feeding upon Beauty, Goodness, and Purity itself in this most Divine Sacrament you, too, will become lovely, holy, pure."