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Mother’s Day Mariology special

Catholic Mariology Collection (13 vols.)

On Mother’s Day we all take time to think a little more about the mothers or mother figures in our lives. What better time is there to re-focus your devotion to the mother of all mothers—the Mother of God? Mary has the privilege of being the one who brought our Savior into the world through her efforts of pregnancy and child birth—and raising Jesus. Take some extra time in your studies to deepen your understanding of this great mystery.

For just this weekend we are offering a special discount on our Mariology collection. Take advantage of this deal before the weekend is over!

Catholic Mariology Collection (13 vols.)

This collection includes a wide range of texts, from classics by St. Louis de Montfort and St. Alphonsus Ligouri to contemporary works by Scott Hahn and Edward Sri. Enjoy spiritual insights on the rosary, learn the theological significance of the Immaculate Conception, the Virgin Birth, and the Assumption, and study the mystery behind the Theotokos—the Mother of God.

Was $139.99 Now $79.99

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Free Book from Verbum!

This month’s free book from Verbum is The Glories of Mary.

Written by St. Alphonsus de Liguori, a Doctor of the church, The Glories of Mary brings together a wide variety of information about the Virgin Mary, featuring discussions of the main events in Mary’s life, her virtues, and theological reasons for her veneration. Excellent for expanding your knowledge about the Virgin Mary and for personal devotion, this book is yours for free through May 31st.

Glories of Mary

 

Anne Catherine Emmerich on Joseph’s Search for Lodging

Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich’s mysterious visions have been a subject of ongoing discussion in the Catholic Church. When she was beatified in 2004 by Pope John Paul II, the authenticity of the transcriptions of her visions was thoroughly investigated. Interestingly, her beatification was based on grounds completely apart from the writings associated with her.

These visions have continued to fascinate believers for generations—even the 2003 film The Passion of the Christ was inspired by Emmerich’s vivid visions of Jesus’ crucifixion. We may never be able to prove or disprove these private revelations to Emmerich, but one thing is certain: these accounts of Jesus’ crucifixion and Mary’s life  will draw you you to a closer devotion to the Holy family.

JOSEPH IN VAIN SEEKS FOR A LODGING.—THEY GO TO THE GROTTO OF THE CRIB

THEY then entered into Bethlehem, in which the houses were separated from each other by considerable spaces. They entered across some rubbish and by a gate which was fallen into decay. Mary remained quietly with the ass at the end of the street, and Joseph searched in vain for a lodging in the first houses, for there were many strangers in Bethlehem and many people were running here and there. He returned to Mary and told her that he could find nowhere to lodge there, and that they must go on further into the city. He led the ass by the bridle whilst the Blessed Virgin walked by his side. When they were come to the end of another street Mary remained again near the ass while Joseph went from house to house without being able to find one where they would receive him. He soon returned very much troubled. This was repeated several times, and sometimes the Blessed Virgin had a long time to wait: everywhere the place was taken up, everywhere he was repulsed, and he ended by telling Mary that they must go to another part of Bethlehem, where they would be sure to find what they wanted. They then retraced their steps in the direction contrary to that which they had taken in coming when they turned to the south. They then passed through a street which seemed rather a country road as the houses were isolated and on slight elevations.

Arrived at the other side of Bethlehem, where the houses were still more scattered, they found a large empty space situated in a hollow; it was like a deserted field in the city. There was there a kind of shed, and a short distance from it a large tree, like a lime tree, with a smooth trunk, whose branches extended widely and formed a kind of roof over it. Joseph led the Blessed Virgin to this tree; he arranged a convenient seat for her with bundles at the foot of the trunk, in order that she might rest whilst he sought again for a lodging in the neighbouring houses. The ass stood still with its head turned towards the tree. Mary remained at first standing, leaning against the trunk of the tree. Her robe of white wool had no belt, and fell about her in folds; her head was covered with a white veil. Many persons passed by and looked at her, not knowing that their Saviour was so near them. How patient, humble, and resigned she was. She had to wait a long time, and at last she sat down upon the rugs, her hands joined on her breast, and with her head bowed down. Joseph returned to her in great trouble: he had not found a lodging. The friends of whom he had spoken to the Blessed Virgin would scarcely notice him. He shed tears, and Mary consoled him. He went again from house to house; but as, in order the more to induce them to consent, he had spoken of the near approach of his wife’s confinement, this drew upon him a more distinct refusal.

The place was solitary; but in the end some people passing by looked from a distance with curiosity, as is usual if any one is seen remaining a long time in the same place towards the close of the day. I believe that some of them spoke to Mary and asked her who she was. At last Joseph returned; he was so much troubled that he hardly dare come near her. He told her it was of no use, but that he knew further on in the city a spot where the shepherds often stayed when they came to Bethlehem with their flocks, and that they would find there at least a shelter. He knew the place from his youth: when his brothers tormented him he had often retired there to escape from their persecutions. He said if the shepherds came there he could easily arrange with them, but that they were rarely here at this season of the year. He added, when they were quietly settled he would make further inquiries. They then went away by the eastern side of Bethlehem, following a deserted path which turned to the left. It was a road like one which is found in walking by the side of the dilapidated walls, ditches, and fortifications of a small city in ruins. The road at first rose a little, it then descended the slope of a small hill, and led them a few minutes to the east of Bethlehem, before the place they were seeking, near a hill or an old rampart, in front of which stood some trees. They were green trees (firs or cedars), and other trees which had little leaves like box leaves.

Emmerich, A. C. (1899). The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. (G. Richardson, Trans.) (pp. 69–75). London; New York; Cincinnati; Chicago: Burns and Oates; Benziger Brothers.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas

From J.N. Tylenda’s Saints and Feasts of the Liturgical Year:

The shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, on the outskirts of Mexico City, is the most famous shrine of our Lady in the Western Hemisphere, and today we commemorate her appearances to a native Mexican convert, St. Juan Diego, on Tepeyac Hill. On December 9, 1531, our Lady appeared to him and asked that a church be built on the site, and on December 12 she again appeared and urged him to take her message to the bishop. To offer proof that he was our Lady’s messenger, she told him to gather the flowers he found blooming there in mid-December. When Juan Diego stood before Bishop Juan de Zumárraga, he opened his cloak, and as the flowers cascaded to the floor, those present saw on the rough cloth an image of our Lady—the image still preserved at the shrine. The first sanctuary was built in about 1533; the second was begun in 1556; and the third was built in 1695. The present basilica dates from 1976. In 1746, Our Lady of Guadalupe became the patroness of Mexico, and in 1754 Pope Benedict XIV established December 12 as the feast. In 1945, when Pope Pius XII was speaking of Our Lady of Guadalupe, he called her “Queen of Mexico and Empress of the Americas.” The pope went on to say that the image on the cloak was done “by brushes that were not of this world.” The prayer in the Mass today affirms that by the Virgin Mary’s appearance at Tepeyac, God has brought blessings to the Americas (273-294).

1531_Nuestra_Señora_de_Guadalupe_anagoria

Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico

Deacon Kevin’s Reflections for the 2nd Week of Advent

This guest post is by Deacon Kevin Bagley, Director of Verbum.

We journey closer to Christmas and our anticipation heightens. Last week Jesus spoke of the end times, and we now hear John the Baptist telling us to, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” We must live our lives as Jesus has asked if we want to be part of the Kingdom.

Isaiah tells us that we need to turn our hearts to God. The spirit of the Lord shall come, bestowing gifts upon us: wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, and fear of the Lord. Along with piety, these are the spiritual gifts we receive at Confirmation. The Messiah is so powerful and his message so strong that he will bring peace and justice to all creatures.

Paul tells us that living a Christian life means maintaining peace with each other. During Advent, we should examine our relationship with God and also look at our relationships with others. Now is the time to become reconciled with one another. Now is the time to bring peace into strained relationships.

Take some time to discriminate between the messages you hear this Advent: John the Baptist asks us to prepare, but so do the merchants. John wants us to prepare for eternity; the merchants want us to prepare for a particular event. John urges us to turn to God and be saved; the merchants are ultimately interested selling their products. Yes, we want to have a wonderful Christmas, but if we are not good stewards and live the gospel message, eternity will be a living Hell, literally.

As a reminder: Monday, December 8, is a Holy Day of Obligation. We celebrate Mary’s Immaculate Conception. In 1854, Pope Pius IX declared that the Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the very first instant of her conception, exempt from sin and clothed in sanctifying grace. It is a wonderful opportunity to gather in prayer as community and thank Mary for saying YES to God!

The Assumption of Mary and Pauline Theology

This post is by guest Brandon Ruphohn, Marketing Copywriter at Logos.

catholic-mariology-collectionIt’s the Feast of the Assumption! On this special day, we’re excited to announce our newest collection: the Catholic Mariology Collection (13 vols.), containing some of our most recently-shipped volumes on Mary and the subject of Mariology within a Catholic context.

But why is the Assumption of Mary important for Catholics?

The Marian doctrines don’t appear in the Nicene or Apostles’ Creeds, so our faith is not quite as dependent upon them as, for example, Jesus’ resurrection or the apostolicity of the Church. However, Marian doctrines are by no means optional or frivolous: they help us understand Christ and our relationship with him.

Mary plays a unique role in our understanding of Christ. Being his mother, she must have known him intimately, personally, and spiritually. As a loving and dedicated Jewish woman, Mary raised Jesus in obedience to God and to the Torah (Luke 2:21-24, 39-41), and was rewarded with a holy and devout son. Luke recounts that she “kept all these things in her heart” (2:51). Mary was what Christians today aspire to be: to be among those who truly know Jesus intimately, personally, spiritually.

Paul, on the other hand, knew Jesus as a flash of light (Acts 9:3, Galatians 1:12). After his dramatic conversion experience, in which he was knocked off his horse and temporarily blinded, Paul probably spent several years in the desert of Arabia (Galatians 1:17-18), where he wrestled the implications of his encounter with the living person of Jesus. He had to re-evaluate Jewish theology, the Torah, and the Prophets, all of which he had loved so dearly and so legalistically. His experience with Jesus—though brief—was enough for him to dedicate the rest of his life in love of Christ.

Hans_Speckaert_-_Conversion_of_St_Paul_on_the_Road_to_Damascus_-_WGA21655

Conversion of St Paul on the Road to Damascus by Hans Speckaert

Regarding the Feast of the Assumption, it would appear that both Mary and Paul have the same hope to share with us. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI explains the significance of the Assumption:

Mary’s Assumption body and soul into heaven is for us a sign of sure hope, for it shows us, on our pilgrimage through time, the eschatological goal of which the sacrament of the Eucharist enables us even now to have a foretaste. 

(Sacramentum Caritatis 33)

The Assumption by Titian

Pope Benedict also illuminates today’s New Testament reading in his apostolic exhortation on the Eucharist. The source and summit of our Catholic lives, the Eucharist provides a foretaste to the sanctified life ahead of us—that which Mary had already achieved through Christ’s merits. Paul refers to this life in today’s reading from 1 Corinthians:“In Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order: Christ the firstfruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:22–23).

Barely four chapters earlier in the same letter, Paul reveals that it was Christ who taught him the institution of the Eucharist (1 Corinthians 11:23). He reminds us that the Eucharist is a serious matter for the church, that “whoever eat the bread or drinks the cup unworthily will have to answer for the body and the blood of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 11:27). Here, we are reminded to examine ourselves, for “as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes” and so, we look forward to his coming again!

For just as Mary’s Assumption raises our eyes towards heaven, so too do we look to heaven to catch of glimpse of Jesus coming back down (1 Thessalonians 4:16). Until then, we proclaim Christ’s crucifixion. “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified,” says Paul (1 Corinthians 2:2). Paul resolved to know Christ crucified. To know Christ as Mary did during her 30 years with him—tragically culminating at the foot of the cross—or as Paul did through his conversion experience, is to know Jesus through his Paschal sacrifice.

The Eucharist is where we find a Christ we can know intimately, personally, and spiritually. As St. St. Louis de Montfort (included in the new Catholic Mariology Collection) recommends to us, “When Mass is over, make a short thanksgiving.… Then leave the church, as if you were going down from Calvary.” Both Mary and Paul direct us to Christ upon the Cross as a means of knowing who Christ truly is.

 

Enrich and Deepen Your Faith with Scott Hahn’s 2-Volume Set!

This guest post was written by James Battle, Catholic Marketing Specialist here at Verbum

As a Catholic convert, two Verbum books have especially encouraged and accelerated my faith. I own hard copies of both of them:  one I read cover-to-cover, but the other was far denser, and I never finished it. Buying a book I do not finish is not unusual for me. I know, like many other bibliophiles, that there are many books bought in the heat of the moment, and sit on the shelf unfinished, waiting for the proper mood or motivation. What is unusual, though, is that both books were written by the same author: Scott Hahn.

The Lamb’s Supper  is a book I picked up early in my conversion process, shortly after I began attending Mass. I was consistently struck by the way the liturgy is packed full of scriptural references and symbolism from the book of Revelations. It was truly eye-opening! The Lamb’s Supper very quickly made the initially confusing Mass sensible, especially since I was an outsider who had a particular fascination with St. John’s prophetic and strange symbolism. It was easy to read, and served as a guidebook that tied scripture to the liturgy. I enjoyed Dr. Hahn’s writing so much that I eventually picked up Hail, Holy Queen—although I was warned that it was not bedside table reading.

That advice turned out to be quite accurate. Hail, Holy Queen was not merely peppered with scriptural references—there were often many in each paragraph—but also, there were many references to Catholic tradition: the Church Fathers, Vatican II documents, papal encyclicals, and the Catechism. These were all much newer to me at the time, and so the book sat.

After picking up the 2-volume Scott Hahn collection in Verbum, however, The Lamb’s Supper turned from a scriptural guide into a base camp for scaling the mountain of Catholic tradition regarding marriage, the Communion of Saints, apostolic succession, and much more.

It was Hail, Holy Queen that I found most profoundly transformative, however. Since all of the footnotes and references to Church documents and tradition are just a click away in Verbum, I ditched my hard copy and read the digital version. Using my Verbum library, I followed Dr. Hahn’s line of thought much more easily than with the printed book, because I could read up on source material instantly and was able to fully understand what the author was communicating. In short: I didn’t know what I didn’t know. That is, until I was able to dive in with just a few clicks.

Even if you have favorite books in paper form—get the Verbum edition! You will love reading your favorite passages in a new light with the source material right at hand. If you have books in print that you’ve never finished—get the Verbum edition! Regardless of what motivated you to purchase the book in the first place, Verbum will make all the information contained with the text easier to access and understand. Also, you can always join the Verbum group on Faithlife, and find like-minded friends who will be glad to read along and explore the Faith with you.

This 2-volume set from Scott Hahn is discounted through the end of July. Take advantage of the opportunity to enrich and deepen your faith today!

 

“The Secret of All Joy”: Finding Mary in the Month of May

This post was written by Kathryn Hogan, acquisitions editor here at Verbum

The intriguing title of Thomas Merton’s essay, “A Woman Clothed with the Sun,” comes from St. John’s Revelations. Merton’s main point is that God tells us very little about Mary. Paradoxically, as Merton points out, the little we know about Mary proclaims exactly what God wishes us to know about her: she is hidden and obscure, and that is the key to her sanctity.

annunciation-1442

What I had never considered, before reading this essay, is that God wants it that way; and that, in fact, what Merton calls Mary’s “hiddenness” is a model for us in our search for holiness. Mary’s selflessness allows God’s will to be brought to fulfillment in her, above all the other saints. Merton argues that Mary’s emptiness allows her to act as a window that most perfectly lets the light of God’s grace into her soul and to amplify it in her life. We can find Mary “living in the midst of Scripture,” as Merton states, and we can be confident that her example will always lead us to her son, Jesus.

Perhaps the most compelling aspect of Merton’s prescient essay is that he discerns one of the biggest problems of our current age: the relentless and obsessive drive to expose ourselves, to seek recognition, and even renown, at all times, for even the most mundane aspects of our lives. In stark contrast, Merton identifies Mary’s example of being unknown, and being willing to be unknown, as the highest priority in spiritual life: “to vanish from the sight of men and be accounted as nothing by the world and to disappear from one’s own self-conscious consideration and vanish in to nothingness in the immense poverty that is the adoration of God.” Strong words—and he continues: “This absolute emptiness, this poverty, this obscurity holds within it the secret of all joy because it is full of God.”

the-madonna-of-humility-adored-by-leonello-d-este.jpg!Large

At a time when our society seems to push us toward more and more self-revelation, to expose everything, from the trivial to the truly tasteless, on Facebook, selfies, and viral videos, it might be difficult to regard obscurity—not being known—as a benefit.

But Merton assures us that it is essential. The key to the essay, I think, is in a Latin quote from Proverbs, which Merton includes in the essay without comment or context:

For those who find me find life

and receive favor from the LORD (8:35).

The idea of “finding” threads through Scripture, from the parable of the man who found the pearl of great price to one of the most wonderful promises of Jesus: “Seek and you shall find.” Instead of revealing ourselves in a culture that exposes too much, and too much that is unimportant, let us instead find life by seeking what is hidden and consenting to be hidden, so that God’s will can be completed in us as it was in Mary.

Our Lady of Lourdes

Photo by Manuel González Olaechea y FrancoOn February 11, 1858, a young peasant girl was gathering firewood near a grotto in the small town of Lourdes, France. Seeing a “dazzling light,” she looked up at a nearbalcove and saw a “small young lady” standing there. Over the following weeks, this lady continued to appear to the young girl. She spoke of the need for prayer, penance, and faith in God. Word of this mysterious lady rapidly spread. Some believed the peasant girl’s reports. Others believed her to have a mental illness.

In the face of such skepticism, the claims of the peasant girl were subjected to intense scrutiny from the Church and the scientific community. The grotto, where miraculous healings were already being reported, was investigated by scientists. Patients claiming supernatural cures were examined by doctors. And the young girl was questioned by friends, family members, and numerous Church authorities.

After much deliberation, the Bishop of Tarbes issued the following declaration on January 18, 1862:

“We have . . . been advised by a commission composed of holy, learned and experienced priests who have questioned the child, studied the facts, examined and weighed everything. We have also sought the opinion of scientists and we are finally convinced that the Appearance is supernatural and divine, and that consequently, She whom Bernadette has seen is the Most Blessed Virgin Herself. Our conviction is based, not merely upon the testimony of Bernadette herself, but more especially upon the events which have taken place and which can only be explained by divine intervention.”[1]

Today, February 11, we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. This day marks the anniversary of St. Bernadette’s first encounter with the Blessed Virgin Mary. The encounter, along with the events following it, have much to teach us—not only about our Holy Mother, but also about Holy Mother Church. By reading the stories of saints like Bernadette, we see how they harmonize with the Tradition of the Church. We see how they exemplify the love of Christ. And we see how they call us to a deep sense of humility.

This call to humility ought to profoundly challenge us. We are all too often stubborn, narrow-minded, and resistant to the possibility of encountering God in new ways. If young Bernadette were to come to us with news of a Marian apparition, we would be among those who called her crazy. Rather than responding in a spirit of charity, we judge, ridicule, and dismiss those whose experience is different than ours.

The Immaculate ConceptionThis attitude is directly challenged by Pope Francis in his recent Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium. Speaking of popular piety, he encourages us to approach such expressions of the Faith “with the gaze of the Good Shepherd, who seeks not to judge but to love. Only from the affective connaturality born of love can we appreciate the theological life present in the piety of Christian peoples, especially among the poor.”[2] In this light, we can accept devotion to the Blessed Virgin as a valid expression of a faith-filled life. Heeding Francis’ warning to “not stifle or presume to control this missionary power,”[3] we also fulfill Paul’s charge to the Thessalonians when he tells them: “Do not quench the Spirit, do not despise prophesying.”[4]

Yet this charge continues: “but test everything; hold fast what is good, abstain from every form of evil.”[5] The Church, while celebrating the piety of the poor and lowly, also respects reason. The investigation of the events at Lourdes demonstrates this fact. Not only was young Bernadette thoroughly questioned, Pope Pius X commissioned the Lourdes Medical Bureau to investigate all reported miraculous healings from a medical, rather than ecclesiastical, perspective. Having scrutinized thousands of people since its inception, the bureau has declared 69 cases to be scientifically inexplicable miracles.[6] This rigorous examination of the facts, respecting the lights of both faith and reason, demonstrates to the world that the Church has both a heart and a mind.

This is all well and good for our ability to trust the Church, and more importantly, our ability to love those around us (particularly the poor). But what of our own relationship with Mary? Do we believe that Our Lady of Lourdes has anything to offer to us? In answer to this question, the Church directs us to St. Louis de Montfort. Writing in the seventeenth century, he laments:

Is it not astonishing and pitiful to see the ignorance and short-sightedness of men with regard to your holy Mother? I am not speaking so much of idolaters and pagans who do not know you and consequently have no knowledge of her. I am not even speaking of heretics and schismatics who have left you and your holy Church and therefore are not interested in your holy Mother. I am speaking of Catholics, and even of educated Catholics, who profess to teach the faith to others but do not know you or your Mother except speculatively, in a dry, cold and sterile way.[7]

Coronation of the VirginThese words, coming from his Treatise on the True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, ought to resonate with us. Our rational and reductionist view of Christ and his Kingdom too easily precludes devotion to Mary and other forms of popular piety. We refuse to pray the rosary, simply because we have the Eucharist. We do not implore Mary or the saints for assistance, because our hearts have only room enough for Jesus. We completely miss the fact that Christ’s Kingdom is inherently relational, and that we are called to love everyone simply because Christ loves everyone. All of us on Earth and in heaven are inseparably woven together as members of one human family. And, as St. Louis de Montfort notes, the bond between us, Mary, and Jesus is perhaps the strongest of them all:

She is the sure means, the direct and immaculate way to Jesus and the perfect guide to him, it is through her that souls who are to shine forth in sanctity must find him. He who finds Mary finds life, that is, Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth and the life.[8]

Today, as we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, let us turn to Mary with humble hearts. Let us recognize our own poverty of Spirit. And let us discover anew the God who is love.


[1] Bertrand Laurence, Bishop of Tarbes, Report of the Episcopal Commission, January 18, 1862, http://www.miraclehunter.com/marian_apparitions/statements/lourdes_comm_report.html.

[3] Evangelii Gaudium, § 124

[4] 1 Thess. 5:19–20, RSVCE

[5] 1 Thess. 5:20–22

[6] Lourdes Medical Bureau, “Miraculous Cures in Lourdes,” June 20, 2013, http://en.lourdes-france.org/deepen/cures-and-miracles/miraculous-cures-in-lourdes

[7] St. Louis de Montfort, Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virigin, § 64, http://www.ewtn.com/library/montfort/truedevo.htm

[8] Ibid., § 50

 

This post was written by Brody Stewart, the Promotions Coordinator at Verbum.

St. Francis de Sales—Doctor of Mariology?

Today’s guest post is by Brandon Rappuhn, a Logos marketing copywriter.

We continue through the month of Mary, and I find myself surprised at some unexpected discoveries in Logos’ soon-to-come products.

St. Louis de Montfort in his Treatise on the True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, records that St. Francis de Sales is one of the Church’s foremost devotees to Mary (among Saints Ephrem, John Damascene, Bonaventure, etc.[1]). As I’ve said before, I’m quite fond of St. Francis de Sales. His spiritual directions have, for me, promoted a devout way of life in my lay vocation. Introduction to the Devout Life and Treatise on the Love of God are the quintessential Frances de Sales texts; in my time reading his works, though, I haven’t come across any revelatory or notably profound sections on Mary. So now I’m dying to know: what does St. Francis de Sales have to say that caught St. Louis de Montfort’s attention?

I searched fervently through the writings of Francis de Sales, looking for the eloquent words of my favorite Doctor of the Church that had won Louis de Montfort’s respect—and I found nothing profound or startling. I discovered only the expected sermons on Mary and Joseph as examples for us to follow.

It wasn’t too longer afterward that I realized the Doctors of the Church are not always chosen for the writings they leave behind, but for the exemplary legacy of their lives. My study now takes an interesting turn: I began to look at the life of St. Francis de Sales, and not so much his writings.

Franz_von_SalesSt. Francis de Sales had much holiness and devotion to model ourselves after. In The Mystical Explanation of the Canticle of Canticles, St. Jane Frances de Chantal testifies to the life, practices, and teachings of St. Francis de Sales. St. Jane Frances reports that Francis de Sales prayed the Memorare and was instantly freed from an agony that tormented him for three weeks. He was said to have carried his rosary with him in his belt wherever he would go. In that text, St. Jane Frances de Chantal reported that Francis de Sales once said to her, “I have been feeling most strongly, how great a blessing it is to be a child, though an unworthy one, of this glorious Mother. Let us undertake great things under her patronage, for if we are ever so little dear to her, she will never leave us destitute of what we are struggling to attain.” St. Frances de Chantal further reported that “He said his rosary every day with extraordinary devotion, and use to tell me that he found all his help in the Blessed Sacrament and in that Holy Virgin from whom he had received special and even miraculous assistance, as I have before said.” It is now apparent why St. Louis de Montfort thought so highly of St. Francis de Sales.

St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane Frances de Chantal had already founded the order of the Nuns of the Visitation when he started writing Treatise on the Love of God. Treatise on the Love of God was written during his travels to and from Geneva and Savoy—the former being his bishopric and the latter being where the Convent of the Visitation had been founded, and where Saints Frances and Francis would give sermons about love, chastity, devotion, moderation, and other important virtues, which were eventually compiled in The Spiritual Conferences. (In fact, the sisters would crowd around him and ask him to read the latest chapters he had written in Treatise on the Love of God.)

His impact on the world—through preaching, founding religious orders, and even his private acts of devotion—have thus far spoken to me more than his words. I started my investigation of the patron of writers by studying his writing, only to realize that sainthood and sanctity is earned by holiness and devotion.[2]


[1] Treatise on the True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, page 103

[2] No one man has changed the course of history as much as has Jesus, and no man leaves for us a better or more perfect example of how we should live, and yet he left behind no writings for us. Even the words he wrote in the sand (John 8:6) are not recorded.

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