• Be ready and watch

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    Be ready and watch

    "And for this very reason there is also a word of the Savior to
    prepare us for that day, in these words: 'Be ready and watch, for He
    comes at an hour you do not know.' For, according to the blessed Paul:
    'We must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, that each one
    may receive according as he has done in the body, whether it be good
    or bad.'"
    -St. Athanasius, Incarnation of the Word, 56.5, 4th century

    24 January – St Francis de Sales CO, OM, OFM (Cap)


     Doctor of the Church: Doctor caritatis (Doctor of Charity), Bishop of
    Geneva, Doctor of Law and Theology, Writer, Theologian, Mystic,
    Teacher, Preacher, Founder along with St Jane Frances de Chantal,
    founded the women’s Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary
    (Visitandines). Born 21 August 1567 at Château de Thorens, Savoy (part
    of modern France). St Francis is known as:  the Gentle Christ of
    Geneva and the Gentleman Saint.

    Patronages – against deafness, authors, writers (proclaimed on 26
    April 1923 by Pope Pius XI), Catholic press, confessors, deaf people, journalists (proclaimed on 26 April 1923 by Pope Pius XI), teachers,
    educators, Champdepraz, Aosta, Italy, 8 dioceses.  His motto
    ‘Non-excidet’ – (No failure). St Francis became noted for his deep
    faith and his gentle approach to the religious divisions in his land
    resulting from the Protestant Reformation.  He is known also for his
    writings on the topic of spiritual direction and spiritual formation, particularly the Introduction to the Devout Life and the Treatise on
    the Love of God.

    Francis, the eldest of 13 children, was born into a family of nobility
    in France in 1567. His father sent him to study at the University of
    Paris. After six years, Francis was intellectually competent in many
    areas. Francis was also a skilled swordsman who enjoyed fencing, an
    expert horseman and a superb dancer.  Then Francis studied at the
    University of Padua and received a doctorate in civil and canon law.
    His father wanted him to marry but Francis desired to be a priest.
    His father strongly opposed Francis in this and only after much
    patient persuasiveness on the part of the gentle Francis did his
    father finally consent. Francis was ordained and elected provost of
    the Diocese of Geneva, then a centre for the Calvinists. Francis set
    out to convert them, especially in the district of Chablais. By
    preaching and distributing the little pamphlets he wrote to explain
    true Catholic doctrine, he had remarkable success, the majority of the
    Chablais inhabitants accepted the Catholic faith.

    At 35, he became bishop of Geneva.  While administering his diocese he continued to preach, hear confessions and catechise the children.  His
    gentle character was a great asset in winning souls. He practised his
    own axiom, “A spoonful of honey attracts more flies than a barrelful
    of vinegar.”

    Besides his two well-known books, the Introduction to the Devout Life
    and A Treatise on the Love of God, he wrote other marvellous spiritual
    aid as well as many pamphlets and carried on a vast correspondence  .
    For his writings, he has been named patron of the Catholic Press. His
    writings, filled with his characteristic gentle spirit, are addressed
    to lay people. He wants to make them understand that they too are
    called to be saints. As he wrote in The Introduction to the Devout
    Life: “It is an error, or rather a heresy, to say devotion is
    incompatible with the life of a soldier, a tradesman, a prince, or a
    married woman…. It has happened that many have lost perfection in the
    desert who had preserved it in the world. ”

    In spite of his busy and comparatively short life, he had time to
    collaborate with another saint, Jane Frances de Chantal, in the work
    of establishing the Sisters of the Visitation. These women were to
    practice the virtues exemplified in Mary’s visit to Elizabeth:
    humility, piety, and mutual charity. They at first engaged to a
    limited degree in works of mercy for the poor and the sick. Today,
    while some communities conduct schools, others live a strictly
    contemplative life.

    St Francis is buried at the basilica of the Visitation, Annecy, France
    -below. His heart was preserved as a relic at Lyon but during the
    French Revolution his heart was was moved to Venice, Italy. The Altar
    below is the High Altar of St Francis at the Cathedral in St Louis,

    By Anastpaul  Jan 2018

    Bible Quote:
    But the wise took oil in their vessels with the lamps. And the
    bridegroom tarrying, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight
    there was a cry made: Behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye forth to
    meet him.  (Matt 25:4-6)

    Saint Quote:
    "Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow.
    The same Everlasting Father, who takes care of you today,
    will take care of you tomorrow.
    He will either shield you from suffering,
    or give you unfailing strength to bear it.
    Be at peace then,
    and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations."
    --Saint Francis de Sales.

    REFLECTION:  “Man is the perfection of the Universe.
    The spirit is the perfection of man.
    Love is the perfection of the spirit and charity that of love.
    Therefore, the love of God is the end, the perfection of the
    Universe.”… St Francis de Sales

    “Don’t sow your desires
    in someone else’s garden;
    just cultivate your own as best you can;
    don’t long to be other than what you are
    but desire to be thoroughly what you are.
    Direct your thoughts, to being very good at that
    and to bearing the crosses, little or great,
    that you will find there.
    Believe me, this is the most important
    and least understood point to the spiritual life.
    We all love according to what is our taste;
    few people like what is according to their duty
    or to God’s liking.
    What is the use of building castles in Spain
    when we have to live in France?”
    --St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church

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