Saint Francis de Sales
Feast day: January 24th.
The name originates from Latin and refers to ‘Franks, Frankish.’
Saint Francis de Sales, born in 1567 in Savoy (now part of France), was a renowned Catholic priest, bishop, and saint. He is best known as the ‘Bishop of Love’ and was a significant theologian, writer, and missionary during the Catholic Counter-Reformation. His philosophy and spirituality had a profound impact on the Catholic Church and the spiritual life of his time.
Francis de Sales received education at prestigious schools and universities but chose to pursue a priesthood vocation. His particular gift was his ability to convey the Christian message in an understandable way that appealed to people of all social backgrounds. He became known for his work in missionary activities, especially among Protestants and Calvinists. His most famous work is ‘Introduction to the Devout Life,’ which he wrote as a guide for spiritual growth and deepening of faith.
In 1602, he was appointed as the bishop of Geneva, where he carried out his episcopal ministry with great zeal. Despite challenges and opposition, he remained faithful to his convictions of love and patience, earning respect among Catholics and Protestants alike.
Saint Francis de Sales passed away in 1622 and was canonized as a saint. His spiritual legacy, based on the emphasis of love, compassion, and patience, continues to influence Christian spiritual life today, and his work was instrumental in the renewal of the Catholic faith during the Counter-Reformation.
Patron of the Salesians, Catholic press, writers, journalists, confessors, teachers, cities of Geneva, Annecy and Chambery
Name variations: Franc, France, Francesco, Francisco, Franciscus, Franciskus, Franco, François, Francys, Frank, Frannie, Franny, Franscis, Fransis, Franus, Franz, Frencis