29 January 2015

Feast of St. Francis de Sales

Today is the Feast of the great Doctor of Charity, St. Francis de Sales, patron of the Oratory, co-patron of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, patron of journalists and writers, and great agent of the conversion of heretics.

You can still attend Mass today, as the Oratory will celebrate High Mass tonight at 6:30pm.  Faithful who assist at this Mass, or at any Institute Mass today, may obtain a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions.

Dom Gueranger says of the saint who converted 72,000 Calvinists:

God gave him to the Church at the very time that heresy was holding her out to the world as a worn-out system, that had no influence over men's minds.  He raised up this true minister of the Gospel in the very country where the harsh doctrines of Calvin were most in vogue, that the ardent charity of Francis might counteract the sad influence of that heresy.  If you want heretics to be convinced of their errors, said the leaned Cardinal du Perron, you may send them to me; but if you want them to be converted, send them to the Bishop of Geneva.

Thanks to JJR for this great novena prayer to St. Francis de Sales:

O Blessed Francis de Sales, who in your mortal life did excel in all virtues, especially in love of God and of neighbor, I earnestly entreat you to take me under your immediate protection, to obtain from God my perfect conversion, and that of all sinners, especially of (the names of persons for whom you wish to pray should be mentioned here). Teach me, O Father, to fix my eyes on heaven, that I may generously trample under foot every obstacle that presents itself in my way, and attain that degree of glory which you in your mercy hold out to me. Obtain also that particular favor for which I now pray. (mention intention)

Assist us, O Lord, we beseech you, through the merits of St. Francis de Sales. That what our endeavors cannot obtain may be given us by his intercession. Let us pray: O God, who for the salvation of souls, did will that St. Francis de Sales, your confessor and bishop, should become all things to all men and women, mercifully grant that we, infused with the gentleness of his charity, guided by his teachings, and sharing in his merits, may obtain eternal happiness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


A reflection from Divine Intimacy quotes from St. Francis de Sales:

"O Lord Jesus, when You died on the Cross Your heart was so filled with kindness toward us and You loved us so tenderly, even though we ourselves were the cause of Your death, that You had but one thought: to obtain pardon for Your executioners, even while they tortured You and cruelly insulted You. Help me, I beg You, to endure my neighbors' faults and imperfections with kindness.

"To those who despise me or murmur against me, teach me to reply with humility, mildness, and a steadfast kindness of heart, never defending myself in any way. For love of You, I desire to let everyone say what he wishes, because words are not of value but love is, and he who loves more will be more loved and glorified. Help me, then, my Jesus, to love You; help me to love creatures for love of You, especially those who despise me, without letting myself be disturbed by their contempt, but applying myself to the practice of humility and mildness; then You will be my reward.

"Teach me to comport myself always with mildness and sweetness, and never to disrupt peace with anyone. All that I can do and obtain with love I will do, but what I cannot do or procure without a dispute, I will let be. Help me to make use of the repugnances and aversions I encounter in my contacts with others to practice the virtue of mildness, and to show myself loving with all, even with those who are opposed to me, or who are a cause of aversion.

"Finally, I purpose with Your help, O most lovable God, to apply myself to acquire kindness of heart toward my neighbor by thinking of him as Your creature, destined to enjoy You some day in Paradise. Those whom You tolerate, O Lord God, it is but just that I, too, tolerate them tenderly and with great compassion for their spiritual infirmities."

Blessed feast day to you all!

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