FRANCIS DE SALES 1567 -
Francis: stained glass window, artist unknown – The Basilica of the Visitation, Annecy, France. Chantal: stained glass window, artist unknown – The Basilica of the Visitation, Annecy, France. Vincent de Paul: by the French painter Simon François de Tours (1606-
Vincent de Paul
xxxxxIt was in 1622 that Francis of Sales appointed his fellow countryman Vincent de Paul (1581-
xxxxxHe was born of humble origin near Pouy (now called Saint-
xxxxxIn addition to his duties as a parish priest, he was also chaplain to an aristocratic family, and it was with the aid of this family that in 1625 he founded the Congregation of the Mission. Formed originally to preach the gospel to the peasants on the estate, its work was greatly extended the following year when a community was established at the College des Bons-
xxxxxIn 1622 Francis of Sales put his fellow countryman Vincent de Paul (1581-
xxxxxThe French Roman Catholic priest Francis de Sales was sent to Chablais, Savoy, in 1594 and, by his pious example and religious reforms, brought the majority of the local Calvinists back to Roman Catholicism. He was made bishop of Geneva in 1602 and, working from Annecy, helped found the Order of the Visitation of Our Lady in 1610. This order of nuns adopted a cloistered life and devoted most of its time to the religious education of women. When he died in 1622 it had 13 monasteries, and this number had risen to nearly 200 by the end of the 18th century. In his major work, Introduction to a Devout Life, written in 1608, he argued that the devout Christian had an important role to play as part of everyday society.
xxxxxThe French Roman Catholic bishop and writer Francis de Sales was born of a noble family in Thorens-
xxxxxIn 1602 he was appointed bishop of Geneva and settled at Annecy, the chief town of the Dukedom of Savoy. It was here that the bishop's seat had been re-
xxxxxHe was made a saint in 1665 and, since 1923, has been regarded as the patron saint of journalists and writers in general. Apart from his sermons and letters, he is remembered today for his major work, Introduction to a Devout Life, written in 1608. In this he argues that the committed Christian had an important part to play in worldly society, and need not necessarily withdraw into monastic life.