Focus 2009

S. F. de Sales - FRB15-08-2009

Visiting places associated with St Francis de Sales

Project: Visiting places associated with St Francis de Sales, source of ‘Da mihi Animas’
Date: Francis de Sales born 21-08-1567
Place: Annecy, Thorens, Allinges, Thonon le Bains, Haute Savoie
Province: FRB

Dates of major importance in the life of St Francis de Sales

  • Born in a cottage in Thoren Glière, Savoy, 21-08-1567, first of 13 children of whom 5 died at birth; baptised on 28th as ‘Francis Bonaventure’. Between the age of 6 and 8 he studied in the College at La Roche sur Foron then spent a further 3 year in Annecy at the College of Chappuis. 17-12-1577 he made his first Communion at St Dominic's.
  • From 11 to 21 years of age (1578-1588) he was in Paris with the Jesuits studying rhetoric and philosophy. He was 19 when he had his crisis about predestination.
  • When he was 21 and until he turned 24 he was in Padua where he studied law “to make my father happy” and began studying theology “for my personal pleasure”. At 23 he risked dying from the Plague which was ravaging Padua. A Doctor of Law at 24 years of age, he then was to become a lawyer for the Savoy Senate, but Francis instead chose to be consecrated to the service of the Church.
  • Ordained priest at 26 but had already been appointed as Provost of Geneva. Between the ages of 27 and 31 he was Provost and also spent time in the Chablais as a missionary.
  • 1599 Coadjutor of Geneva.
  • At 35 years of age, 08-12-1602 ordained Bishop.
  • 1604 Preaching at Dijon he met Baroness Jean Frances Fremyot de Chantal, a widow with 4 children.
  • 1606 founded the ‘Florimontane Academy’ with Senator Antoine Favre.
  • 1698 oublished his Philothea.
  • 06-06-1610, Feast of the Holy Trinity and beginning of the Order of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin in Annecy.
  • 1618 published his Treatise on the Love of God.
  • 28-12-1622 struck down by a cerebral haemorrhage, and died in Lyon (in the gardener's hut at the Visitation Convent).
  • 24 January 1623 his body was brought to Annecy; after the funeral in the Cathedral he was taken to the Visitation monastery: Saint Source.
  • 28 December 1661 beatified by Alexander VII, who elevated him to the glory of the Altars on 19 April 1665.
  • 14 November 1877 Pius IX proclaimed him ‘doctor of the Church’, first in France, and on 26 January 1823 Pius IX proclaimed him Patron of Journalists, deaf mutes and those who look after them.

Visiting Upper Savoy (principal places of St Francis de Sales in and around Annecy)

1) Thorens Glieres:

  • St Maurice: where he was baptised and ordained bishop
2) Churches in Annecy:
  • St Peter's Cathedral: Provost at the Cathedral
  • Notre Dame de Liesse: his mother prays for a child
  • St Maurice: taught catechism to the children
  • Saint Source (now Church of St Francis de Sales)
  • Basilica of the Visitation
3) Thonon and the mission in Chablais:
  • Chapel at Allinges
  • St Hippolitus (Evian)