WelCom December 2022
Pope Francis will mark the 400th anniversary of the death of St Francis de Sales, ‘the gentleman saint’ from Savoy, with a new letter planned for the end of the year. A native of Savoy, where he lived a large part of his life, Francis de Sales was appointed bishop of Geneva but was forced to live in exile because of the rise of Protestantism in the Swiss city. He became an important figure in the Counter-Reformation, preaching tirelessly on abandonment to God. He opposed violence all his life, preferring to call for charity and witness. He was canonised in 1665 and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1877. At a general audience in 2018, the Pope referred to St Francis de Sales as a ‘model of meekness’.