450th ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF SAINT FRANCIS DE SALES

450th ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF SAINT FRANCIS DE SALES  

The issue of a 2.55 euro Vatican postage stamp celebrates the 450th Anniversary of the birth of Saint Francis de Sales. Born in the French border town of Thorens-Glières on 21 August 1567 of an ancient and noble heritage, at a young age Francis de Sales showed interest in theology during his formative years of study that soon led him to a vocation to the priesthood. He carried out his ministry with the firm desire to safeguard the Church of Rome from the reform of Calvin. Saint Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church, is one of the fathers of modern spirituality and influenced the most important figures of the 1600s in Europe. He brought back many faithful separated from the Catholic Church by speaking about the love of God. Many religious congregations took inspiration from him, including the Salesian Family founded by Saint John Bosco, who chose him as patron of his efforts, both because he was one of the most venerated Saints in the Piedmont region of Italy and because he incarnated the principles of loving kindness, optimism and Christian humanism that became the foundation of the teaching methods of don Bosco. Francis de Sales was beatified in 1662 and canonized by Pope Alexander VII just three years later. Marco Ventura portrays him in the style of an antique stained glass window, with his pen in hand, since he is patron of journalists and writers.