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Sales, de St. Francis
St. Francis de Sales

Arms: Azure two bars Gules fimbriated Or between a crescent and two mullets of six points each all Or and in pale.

SOURCE, NOTES and CREDITS: Background arms illustration from Wikipedia, blazon re-worked by J.H. Gaylor from the “Arms of Saints”, by Sebastian Nelson, text adapted from Wikipedia by D.Q. Wedvick.

St. Francis de Sales was born on 21 August 1567 at the Chateau de Thorens in Haute-Savoie to François de Boisy and Françoise de Sionnz of noble Savoyard families. The eldest of twelve children, St. Francis was given a privileged education at the best schools in the nearby town of Roche-sur-Foron and Annecy with his spiritual formation and academics from the Jesuits. In 1587, at age twelve, he was sent to the Collège de Clermont in Paris. In 1588, he transferred from the University of Paris to the University of Padua, Italy to study both law and theology. His father wanted him to become an attorney. St. Francis received his degree as a doctor in both law and theology and but had decided to become a priest. His father meanwhile had arranged a position for his eldest son in the Senate of Chambéry and for a marriage to a wealthy heiress. St. Francis refused these wishing to join the Church. Finally the Bishop of Geneva, Claude de Granier, arranged for the papal appointment as the Provost of the Cathedral Chapter of Geneva, the most important post after the Bishop himself. His father relented and St. Francis was Ordained. He became a famous preacher, converter of souls, an educator and creator of one of the first sign languages, one of the foremost in the Church’s Counter-reformation and was a friend of Henri IV of France & Pope Clement VIII. In 1602, he was named Bishop of Geneva over his own protests. He was personally ascetic, a great friend of the poor and importantly wrote popular books, the most famous being his “Introduction to the Devout Life”. In 1610 he was the founder with his follower, St. Frances de Chantal, of the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary (BVM) in Annecy, Haute-Savoie.

Whilst traveling and preaching in the entourage of Charles Emanuel I, Duke of Savoy, he became ill and died age 55 on 28 December 1622. St Francis was Beatified by Pope Alexander VII on 8 January 1662 and then Canonized as a saint on 8 April 1665 by the same Pope. St Francis de Sales was named a Doctor of the Church in 1877 by Blessed Pope Pius IX. dqw 20100127

The artwork is a rendering by John Hamilton Gaylor

Wedvick Armorial, 125, Sales, de,

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