“Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.
Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit.
Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.
Be who you are and be that well.”
Saint Francis de Sales was a man of single-hearted zeal and gentle wisdom who directed many people to find God in forms of devotion shaped by their own circumstances. The Church continues to reap the benefits of the good he sowed through his writings.
Born of aristocrats, Francis overcame his father’s resistance to take orders. He served as Bishop of Geneva, in exile at Annecy at the height of the Reformation. A much sought out spiritual director, his tender yet wise letters to a young woman, Madame de Chamoisy, formed the basis of his Introduction to the Devout Life, which proposes God’s merciful love as the goal and motive of every human life. Francis was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1877.
“Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections. Have patience with all things, but, first of all with yourself.”
St Francis de Sales