Bishop of Geneva, Doctor of the Universal Church
(1567-1622) Feast Day: Jan. 24th
The Holiness Factor:
Belief that all people, clergy and laypeople, are called to a life of holiness as described in the groundbreaking book of his day, An Introduction to the Devout Life.
“Be who you are and be that well.”
“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.”
“Devotion is to be practiced differently by the noble, the worker, the servant, the prince, the widow, the young girl, the wife.”
Why we like him:
A philosophy of modesty, commonsense, balance, and mildness in all things.
How he got his start:
Walking through France for 4 years, dodging attempts on his life, depending on alms for survival, teaching, preaching, hearing confessions, offering spiritual guidance, and working to bring Catholics back to the church during the tumultuous Protestant Reformation. He had an intense devotion for the poor.
Thousands of families came back to the Catholic Church thanks to his efforts. Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said “Don’t wait for leaders. Do it person to person.” This well describes Francis’s role in the church at that time.
St. Jane de Chantal, widow and mother of 4, Catholic laywoman, and called to serve God. Received spiritual direction from Francis and together they founded the Order of the Visitation Sisters for women to pray and serve the poor while living in the world.
“Nothing is so strong as gentleness. Nothing as gentle as real strength.”