Wednesday, January 24, 2007

January 24 - Feast of St. Francis DeSales

St. Francis DeSales' feast day is today. Since he is the patron of journalists, it is right to give him his honor on this day. How did he get that distinction? Pamphlets. Lots of pamphlets.

Francis was ordained for the Diocese of Geneva, but when staunch Calvinism made it dangerous for Catholic clergy in Switzerland, the Church administration moved into exile in France. It was here that the Francis caught the attention of the Bishop of Geneva, who would eventually ordained him to the Priesthood. St. Francis began his Priesthood determined to bring the recently "Calvinized Catholics" back to the Church. But how do you do that when it's downright dangerous to be publicly professing the Faith and refuting Calvinism?

The answer, so obvious today, was for Francis to write a series of small pamphlets which were printed up and made readily accessible to the public. They refuted the attacks on the Church and showed the flaws in Calvin's thinking. But DeSales' writing was not limited to small pamphlets. Looking for something to read during Lent? Try his classic Introduction to the Devout Life.

Because of these, DeSales gets Catholic media under his patronage. In fact, Pope John Paul's last Apostolic Letter, The Rapid Development, written on the topic of modern communications, was released two years ago on this day to honor the patron of communications.

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