St. Francis de Sales, Patron Saint of Writers

Francis was born on August 21, 1567, at the Chateau de Sales in Geneva, Switzerland to a noble family. He was a frail and delicate child, but very intelligent, humble, kind, loving, patient and gentle. He was educated in some of the best schools of that time period. At the age of thirteen, he attended the University of Paris where he studied theology. He then attended the University of Padua, where he earned his doctorate in law. His father desired that he become a lawyer and politician, but Francis desired to become a priest. In 1593, he was ordained.

The Catholic Church at this time was losing many of its parishioners to the new churches of the Protestant Reformation. Francis set out to restore Catholicism to the area around Lake Geneva known as Chablais. For three years, he trudged through the countryside, his feet frozen and bleeding, as he trampled through the snow. No one would listen to him, so he wrote out his sermons, copying them by hand in the form of leaflets, and placed them under doors. It is said that he converted 40,000 people by the time he left to return home.

In 1602, he was made Bishop of Geneva. He led and organized his diocese from his new residence at Annecy. His words of inspiration and wise counsel led many people to live out the gospel message in their lives. In 1610, he founded the Order of the Visitation with St. Jane Francis de Chantal, a good friend, with whom he shared his spiritual beliefs. Francis was overworked and often ill due to his heavy workload. However, he remained active, particularly using his talent for writing to assist him in ministering to others.

Francis died at Lyons on December 28, 1622 and was buried at Annecy on January 24. He was canonized in 1665 and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1877 and Patron of the Catholic Press in 1923.

Quotes From St. Francis de Sales

"Keep your heart very wide to receive in it all sorts of crosses and resignations or abnegations, for the love of Him who has received so many of them for us."

"Faithfully attend to your obligations, but know that you have no greater obligation than that of your salvation and of the saving progress of your soul on the way to true devotion."

" When you are sick, offer to Christ our Lord all your pains suffering, and your languor, and beseech Him to unite them to those He bore for you."

~ Taken from Gold in the Furnace, copyright 2004, Jean M. Heimann

Prayer for Writers (taken from Saintly Support: A Prayer for Every Problem)

May the Lord guide me and all those who write for a living. Through your prayers, St. Frances de Sales, I ask for your intercession as I attempt to bring the written word to the world. Let us pray that God takes me in the palm of His hand and inspires my creativity and inspires my success. St. Francis de Sales, you understand the dedication required in this profession. Pray for God to inspire and allow ideas to flow. In His name, let my words reflect my faith for others to read. Amen.


  1. thats really awesome! :)

  2. I came here as I am trying to begin writing a piece that I was Born to write, but am having trouble finding the faith to begin it. Thank you for giving us writers a primer on St. Francis DeSales, Patron Saint of Writers. I have also beseeched St. Francis of Assisi, Patron to All flora and fauna and those who adore them. The piece I am writing is on the bond between animals and humans. Thank You For the support!

  3. Thank you for the Prayer, I was searching for it!
    I wish you a good Advent.

  4. I am getting confirmed this year, and i was told to pick a saint. To me St. Francis DE Sales is very inspiring, because I am very into writing so I thought why not St. Francis? He did so many things that I like and that I admire he stood out the most in all the saints that I had lined up to be my patron saint.

  5. Beautifully written biography.

  6. I too am taking Francis as my confirmation name when I am received into the Church this Easter!

    After reciting his prayer for writers, the ending for my novel, which had eluded me for almost two years, came to me in a sudden, forehead-slapping, eureka flash!

  7. My hope and faith is in St. Francis de Sales for his intercession in helping me to complete my stageplay, and feature film, and a documentary, collaborating with others, on Mabel Stark, the great tiger trainer who taught me vital elements of the profession. St. Francis de Sales, pray for me.


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