Our Patron - St Francis de Sales

Francis de Sales (1567-1622) was a Roman Catholic bishop in Calvinist regions of Switzerland. His calm, clear explanations of the Catholic faith strengthened his own people and won many converts.

Francis' first assignment as a priest was in the region of Chablais (in France, near the Swiss border), where most of the people were Calvinists. Francis found only fifteen Catholics in his local church. He began to preach Roman Catholic doctrine and soon was in danger of attacks from certain Calvinists. Since it was difficult to make personal contact with them, Francis started a "leaflet campaign." He wrote many leaflets, attaching them, to walls of the town by night. He did not argue or criticise. Instead, he explained his view of the faith in a calm, pleasant way. By 1602 he had brought some 25,000 people into the Roman Catholic Church.

In 1607 he and a widow from the nobility, Jane Frances de Chantal, decided to found a new order of nuns, the Order of the Visitation. Its members visited the poor and the sick and later established schools.

Francis also was active in preaching the Christian way of life through his writings.

Declared a saint by the Church, Francis de Sales is the patron of journalists and Catholic writers.