So, I’m not a catholic, but recently I stumbled on Saint Frances De Sales, the patron saint of writers. I found him on Pintrest, of all places. There he was, looking at me from mu computer screen, with this quote; “I have more than fifty letters to answer. If I tried to hurry over it all, I would be lost. So, I intend to neither hurry or worry. This evening I shall answer as many as I can. Tomorrow I shall do the same and so I shall go on until I have finished.”
I don’t know how anyone could read that simple, self loving advice and not want to find out more about the person who said it. And I found out a lot. St. De Sales has a lot to teach us about writing, and life in general.
Be as educated as you can be
St De Sales wasn’t just a holy man. He was a nobleman with a law degree as well as a degree in Theology. Yes, this was back in the days when leeches and amputation were the leading edge in medicine. But it was also during the time that the church considered any education beyond the study of holy texts and doctrine to be unnecessary at best.
King Henry IV of France said of him, “A rare bird, he is devout and also learned.”
Don’t hold on to limiting beliefs
Early in his life, De Sales learned about a thing called predestination. This led him to think that he was headed towards Hell no matter what he did. Eventually he realized that wasn’t the case, and devoted himself to God and the church. This shows us that no matter what you might think today, everything can change with very little warning.
Be Pro Equality
St. De Sales worked with St. Jane Francis to create The W omens Order Of The Visitation Of The Holy Mother. This was one of the first woman’s groups to fight to be un-cloistered. That was something that St. De Sales fought very hard for. Sadly, they were not victorious.
Be for Religious freedoms
He was also known for his tolerance of other faiths. And this wasn’t like being tolerant these days, when people are just expected to be. This was back when being tolerant meant you were going to Hell right along with the non believers.
Write for everyone
St. De Sales was, of course, a writer. He’s best known for “Introduction to The Devout Life.” It’s famous for being one of the first books written for laymen, or people with little or no formal education. This was unheard of, but absolutely revolutionary. He helped make not only faith, but reading accessible to everyone.
Oh, and if St. De Sales wasn’t cool enough, he’s also the patron saint of deaf people because he invented the first form of sign language.