MARY, OUR MOTHER

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Freed from anxiety before a statue of the Virgin



* January 24 – Our Lady of Prayer (Toledo, Spain) - Saint Francis de Sales (d. 1622)  * Freed from anxiety before a statue of the Virgin ----- A Moment with Mary --

Une Minute avec Marie
An initiative of the Mary of Nazareth Association

January 24 – Our Lady of Prayer (Toledo, Spain) - Saint Francis de Sales (d. 1622) 

Freed from anxiety before a statue of the Virgin


What strikes us the most about Saint Francis de Sales’ personality is his kindness. He had high expectations however they were equally matched by his kindness and the attention he paid to people. What was his secret?

We must remember the spiritual crisis he went through. At age 19 he experienced a strong crisis of anguish and despair, which caused him to suffer from insomnia. In the context of the Protestant Reformation, the question of predestination was at the forefront of theological reflection. Francis had somehow convinced himself that he was excluded from God’s friendship forever and condemned to hell.

He was freed from this anxiety before the statue of the Virgin at the church of Notre Dame des Gres in Paris, when he pronounced this act of abandonment: "Whatever happens ... I love you Lord, at least in this life if it is not granted to me to love you in eternal life; I will always place my hope in your mercy." He made the choice of pure love.

The sense of freedom felt by Saint Francis de Sales was the result of this interior liberation. He had experienced mercy, and could now be a witness of mercy. This foundational experience was at work early in Francis, shaping the man who would be called one day the "Doctor of divine Love and evangelical meekness." Indeed, it would influence his whole life and work.

His Excellency Yves Boivineau
Bishop of Annecy


God Does Exist


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