January 2018 - St. Francis de Sales

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St. Francis de Sales

Bishop and writer led thousands back to Catholic Church

1567-1622
Feast: January 24

Born a diplomat's son in the Savoy region of what is now France, Francis prepared for a political career before being ordained a priest in Geneva in 1593. He volunteered to lead a mission to return the Calvinist Switzerland back to the Catholic faith. He faced much hostility, including death threats and would-be assassins, but the religious tracts he wrote and distributed helped thousands of Protestants return to the Catholic faith. His experience as a spiritual director inspired his famous work Introduction to the Devout Life. He was named bishop of Geneva in 1602 and worked to restore the area's churches and religious orders. He died in 1622 in Lyons at a convent he had helped to found, was canonized in 1665 and was named a doctor of the church in 1877. He is the patron of writers and Christian unity.

-Catholic News Agency

Read the Spanish version of this column.

Northwest Catholic - January/February 2018