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St. Francis de Sales, Bridge Builder

Francis deSalles

Born this day in 1567 – Francis de Sales, Swiss bishop and saint (d. 1622). He was a bridge builder, known for his deep faith and his gentle approach to the religious divisions in his land resulting from the Protestant Reformation. His "Introduction to the Devout Life" is a classic of Christian devotional literature.

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"When your heart roams or gets distracted lead it back very gently, softly putting it close to its Master; and even if you spend your whole hour doing nothing except gathering up your heart quite calmly and putting it close to Our Lord, and even if your heart does nothing except turn away as soon as you have led it back, your hour will have been very well spent"

"There are no galley-slaves in the royal vessel of divine love—every man works his oar voluntarily!"

"You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working ; and just so you learn to love God and man by loving. All those who think to learn in any other way deceive themselves."

"The elephant, not only the largest but the most intelligent of animals, provides us with an excellent example. It is faithful and tenderly loving to the female of its choice, mating only every third year and then for no more than five days, and so secretly as never to be seen, until, on the sixth day, it appears and goes at once to wash its whole body in the river, unwilling to return to the herd until thus purified. Such good and modest habits are an example to husband and wife."