Ordinary Time: January 24th
Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, bishop and doctor; Optional memorial of Our Lady of Peace
Previous Calendar: St. Timothy, bishop and martyr
His ardent love of God and souls, his great kindliness, rare wisdom and sure teaching made St. Francis exceptionally influential in bringing about conversions and in guiding souls in the spiritual life. He won back to the faith more than 70,000 heretics, thus restoring to the Church a great part of the Chablais, which had been ravaged by Protestantism. He was St. Jane de Chantal's spiritual director, and with her founded the Order of the Visitation. He is the author of Treatise on the Love of God and Introduction to the Devout Life. St. Francis died at Lyons in 1622.This is also the optional memorial of Our Lady of Peace celebrated in the diocese of Honolulu. According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII today is the feast of St. Timothy, bishop and martyr. St. Timothy was the faithful companion of St. Paul on his missionary journeys. His feast is now celebrated on January 26. St. Francis de Sales feast was celebrated on January 29 and the feast of Our Lady of Peace was celebrated on July 9. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
St. Francis de Sales
Francis was born on August 21, 1567, and ordained to the priesthood in 1593. From 1594 to 1598 he labored at the difficult and dangerous task of preaching to the Protestants of Chablais and effected the return of some 70,000 souls to the Catholic faith. In 1602 he became bishop of Genf. His zeal for souls is attested in 21,000 extant letters and 4,000 sermons which exemplify how he applied St. Paul's words: "I have become all things to all men." You may epitomize his character in two words, kindliness and lovableness — virtues that were the secret of his success. His writings reflect his kindheartedness and sweet disposition.
- Read An Introduction to the Devout Life which is in print and also available online.
- Read more about St. Francis de Sales.
- Learn more about the errors of Calvinism and the Jansenistic heresy, both of which St. Francis' converted many followers.
- Learn more about the Salesian order.
- St. Francis was born near Geneva, Switzerland, try a Swiss recipe in his honor.
Our Lady of Peace
Our Lady Queen of Peace has been the patroness of the Catholic Church in Hawaii since 1827. The first Catholic missionaries to the Hawaiian Islands arrived at Honolulu Bay on July 7, 1827. These missionaries were members of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and of Perpetual Adoration and upon their arrival in the islands dedicated their labors to the patroness of the Congregation, Our Lady Queen of Peace and placed the Islands under her protection. It was in her honor that these missionaries erected the first Catholic Church.
- Pray the Litany of Loreto. Find out more about this Litany and the feast on December 10.
- Pray for peace in the world, especially for an end to the war in Iraq and for the safety of all soldiers.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Day 7, The gifts of communion. “Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:11)
- Hosea 6:1-6, For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice.
- Matthew 6:19-21, For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
In our journey to Bethlehem, the city of bread, we contemplate the wise men who came to pay homage to the Christ Child. They opened their treasures, and offered the new-born king their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
What gifts have we prepared to offer the king who comes to illuminate our lives and lead us to the grace of unity? We know that God does not want our riches and burnt offerings, but rather that his power works through our poverty. Let us then prepare for him the gift of a heart full of love. Kneeling in worship requires hearts that are contrite for the sin that divides us and obedient to the One we serve. This obedience revives, heals and reconciles everything that is broken or wounded in us, around us, and among us as Christians.
Lord God, you have revealed yourself in the epiphany of your Son both to those who have long awaited for your coming, and to those who were not expecting you. You know the suffering that surrounds us, the pain caused by our divisions. We ask you to enable our hearts and our minds to know you. As we join the wise men coming from afar, we pray that you open our hearts to your love and to the love of our brothers and sisters around us. Receive our prayer in the name of your Son Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit. Amen.