Roman Catholic churches, missionary groups, seminaries, schools, and religious organizations such as the Order of the Salesians of Don Bosco will offer commemorative masses today in solemn observance of the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, the patron saint of journalists and writers and a Doctor of the Universal Church.
Born on Aug. 21, 1567 in Savoy, France, St. Francis was a well-loved preacher, confessor, and charity worker.
Ordained priest in 1593, he was appointed bishop of Geneva, Switzerland during the 17th century. He was able to convert thousands to the faith through his effective preaching and co-founded with St. Jane Frances Chantal the Order of the Visitation of the Holy Mother.
He died on Dec. 28, 1622 and was canonized by Pope Alexander VII on April 8, 1665. In 1877, Pope Pius IX declared him a Doctor of the Church. In 1923, Pope Pius named him as the patron saint of writers and journalists because of the numerous inspirational spiritual books that he wrote such as the “Introduction to the Devout Life” and the “Treatise on the Love of God.”