Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Relics of St Francis de Sales

Today is the EF feast day of St Francis de Sales, Bishop of Geneva, Switzerland, and Doctor of the Church. He died in 1622 on the feast of the Holy Innocents; when he was beatifed 40 years later, his feast was assigned to January 29th, the first free day on the calendar after his death. Bl. Pius IX declared him to be a Doctor of the Church, and Pius XI named him the patron Saint of journalists. In the post-Conciliar reform, his feast was moved to January 24th. Both of his feast days are also reported, depending on the source, as that of the translation of his relics from the place of his death, Lyon, to the convent in Annecy of the Visitandine Order, which he had founded together with his spiritual daughter, St Jeanne Françoise Frémiot, the Baroness de Chantal.

Our friend Fr Adrian Hilton of the Cincinnati Oratory very kindly sent us these photos of relics of St Francis from his private collection. The first is a reliquary which contains a first class relic of him, together with Ss Philip Neri, Camillus de Lellis, Nicholas of Bari, Alexius, and Donatus. The other three are letters from St Francis to St Jeanne Françoise, whom he addresses as “my dear daughter.” The last one concludes with the salutation “May He (i.e. the Lord) always live and reign in our hearts.” Amen!

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