Short Lives of the Saints – Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor

detail of a stained glass window of Saint Francis of Assisi; date unknown, artist unknown; Church of Sainte Marguerite, Le Vésinet, Yvelines, France; photographed on 21 August 2012 by Reinhardhauke; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsEntry

Saint Francis de Sales was devoted to God from his infancy. He was of high birth and eminent talents; but he consecrated all to the service of religion, and, laboring indefatigably among the Calvinists of the Chablais, was instrumental, as a missionary, in leading back seventy-two thousand of those heretics to the true fold in the short space of three years. He was made bishop of Geneva in 1602, and by his sweet sanctity, his meek and affable bearing, proved himself a faithful imitator of the gentle Lamb of God. He wrote numerous and valuable works of piety, founded the Order of the Visitation nuns, and died at Lyons in December, 1622.

Pure in all things as an angel,
  Fond and simple as a child;
With himself severe and watchful,
  With the poor and fallen, mild;
He proclaimed that passion leads us
  O’er a dark and thorny road,
And that men are happy only
  When they love and serve their God.
    – Father Dr. Cummings

Favorite Practice – Often to ponder these words: “My spirit is sweeeter than honey and the honeycomb.”

MLA Citation

  • Eleanor Cecilia Donnelly. “Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor”. Short Lives of the Saints, 1910. CatholicSaints.Info. 1 April 2021. Web. 19 April 2021. <>