Saint Profile: St. Francis de Sales

Today is the feast day of St. Francis de Sales, a Church Doctor and the patron of authors, writers, deaf, and journalists. He followed the will of his father so much so that he did not tell him of his desire to be a priest until he was absolutely certain of God’s will. He refused to do anything prematurely, lest he follow his own will rather than the Lord’s. And how did he know that the priesthood was truly what God wanted for him? He fell from his horse three times, each time causing his sword to come out of his scabbard and make the shape of a cross. If that isn’t proof of God’s visible presence in our lives, I don’t know what is.

St. Francis traveled to Switzerland to convert Calvinists and was very unsuccessful at first; people wouldn’t even open their door for him. This inspired St. Francis to get creative. Because he couldn’t get through the doors, he would go under them; he wrote down his sermons, copied them by hand, and slipped them beneath the doors. Then he began to speak to the children, catching their parents’ attention by how well he treated them. By the time he returned to France he had converted 40,000 people back to Catholicism.

As I look at the week ahead I become anxious; I have two difficult tests that I know of and I am applying for a journalism conference and scholarship in Washington D.C. that is very selective. Today, however, I will take heart in this quote from St. Francis:

“The same everlasting Father who cares for you today will care for you tomorrow and every day. Either he will shield you from suffering or give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginings.”

This week I will pray a decade every day through the intercession of St. Francis for the intentions of my anxiety and this wonderful opportunity that I hope to be able to have. If it be God’s will, I will be accepted. If not, I will find peace in that, too, something I think St. Francis would be proud of.


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