St. Francis de Sales
Bishop, Confessor, Doctor of the Church
Francis was born of devout and noble parents in the town of Sales, from which his family took its name. He was given a liberal education, devoted himself to the study of philosophy and theology at Paris and gained the degree of Doctor in civil and canon law at Padua.
When he had been ordained priest and made provost of the church of Geneva, he carried out the duties of his office so well that Bishop de Granier sent him to preach the word of God in Chablais in order to win the inhabitants away from the heresy of Calvin.
He undertook this mission with such great zeal and overcame so many dangers with the help of God that he is said to have brought back to the Catholic Faith some seventy-two thousand heretics.
When de Granier died, Francis was consecrated bishop. He founded a new order of nuns, named for the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin, and enlightened the Church with writings filled with heavenly teaching. At Lyons, he was seized by a grave illness and departed to Heaven in the year 1622. He was declared a Doctor of the universal Church by Pope Pius IX.
Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. I: Advent to Passion Sunday (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1963), pp. 1731-1732.
Epistle and Gospel for January 29