St. Francis de Sales
Patron Saint of authors, journalists, and writers.
Known as “The Gentleman Saint” due to his sunny disposition and gentle nature, Francis de Sales was at first set upon the path to become a lawyer by his father. However, after receiving his doctorate, Francis declared his intentions to enter the priesthood—a notion that his father strongly opposed, but would eventually consent.
Francis was ordained and elected provost of the Diocese of Geneva, which was becoming a bastion for Calvinists. It was not only through preaching that Francis was successful in converting the Calvinists, but through his remarkable writing skills as well as his gentle and persuasive nature. “A spoonful of honey attracts more flies than a barrelful of vinegar” was the axiom that he lived and preached by.
When he became 35, he was granted the honor of being the bishop of Geneva. In addition to administering his diocese, he continued to preach, hear confession, catechized children and continued a vast correspondence. So prolific a writer was he that he was named as the patron of the Catholic Press. Francis penned two well-known books, the Introduction to the Devout Life and A Treatise on the Love of God. The Introduction to the Devout Lifewas actually inspired by a woman who was listening to his sermons. After introducing himself, Francis discovered her name was Jane Frances Fremiot and that she had been recently widowed and was seeking spiritual guidance. The Introduction to the Devout Life was penned for her benefit, but also sealed a friendship between Francis and Jeanne. Together, they founded a new religious order for women—the Sisters of the Visitation—that would be vital in aiding the sick and poor, as well as creating schools for girls and young women. So devout, so pious, was Jane that she, too, would enter sainthood, becoming more commonly known today as St. Jane Frances de Chantal.