Today is the feast of St. Francis de Sales (+1622), Bishop of Geneva, Doctor of the Church (so named in 1877) and patron of the Catholic press and journalists (so named in 1923). If you don’t know much about this saint, you will at least have heard and probably said something attributed to him without knowing its source. And even if you did know the source, you didn’t have an accurate reference for it. So, here it is. I originally published this in one of the WDTPRS articles a couple years ago when I was working on the series for all four Eucharistic Prayers.
According to the Louis de la Rivière in his Vie de saint François de Sales (1624 – p. 584), the doctor and bishop of Geneva of St. Francis de Sales (+1622) told friend and prodigy Jean Pierre Camus (+1652) Bishop of Belley: “Soyez toujours le plus doux que vous pourrez, et souvenez-vous que l’on prends plus de mouches avec une cuillère de miel qu’avec cent barils de vinaigre… Always be as gentle as you can and remember that one catches more flies with a spoonful of honey than with a hundred barrels of vinegar."
COLLECT: Deus, qui ad animarum salutem beatum Franciscum episcopum omnibus omnia factum esse voluisti, concede propitius, ut, eius exemplo, tuae mansuetudinem caritatis in fratrum servitio semper ostendamus.
LITERAL TRANSLATION: O God, who desired that blessed Francis the bishop become all things to all men for the salvation of souls, propitiously grant that, by his example, we may show forth the gentleness of your freely given sacrificial love in the service of our brethren. Note the reference to St. Paul’s 1 Corinthians 9: omnia ominbus factus sum.