BY PATRICIA MATHSON
FEAST DAY: JANUARY 24
Francis de Sales lived in France and came from a large family. He had 12 brothers and sisters. His father wanted him to be a lawyer, but Francis knew God was calling him to be a priest and serve others. He was ordained in 1593. He is the patron saint of writers because he wrote many letters and books about having faith in God.
Trust in God
He was a kind and caring person who shared God’s love with others. Frances de Sales taught people to trust in God. He said, “Have no fear for what tomorrow may bring. The same loving God who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day.” We should have peace in our hearts because we know that God is with us.
Francis de Sales encouraged people to pray. He said that prayer is a conversation with God. Through prayer we speak to God and God speaks to us. He knew it was important to be people of prayer. As he said, “Prayer is for everyone.” The life of this saint reminds us to pray always.
Francis de Sales said, “Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.” He knew that we sometimes worry about mistakes we’ve made and judge ourselves harshly. But God created us and loves us just as we are. These words of St. Francis de Sales speak to our lives today.
What can we do?
✱ Talk about St. Francis de Sales. Why is he the patron saint of writers? What kind of person was he? What did he teach people? Why is it important to trust God? What did Francis de Sales teach about prayer? How often should we pray? What did he say about being patient? Why should we have patience with ourselves?
✱ Role-play ideas of how to be kind to others. Divide children into pairs. Have each pair think of something they can do to help someone, such as visiting an elderly person or helping a child who is new to their school. Each pair then role-plays their idea for the group as a whole without speaking. The other children guess what the two children are doing.
✱ Encourage children to share their ideas about ways to pray. Let them know that there are many ways to pray, such as traditional prayers, thanking God for our blessings, offering each day to God, listening to music, asking forgiveness of God, and praying for the needs of other people.
Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for the example of St. Francis de Sales. May we open our hearts to your unending love for us and share that love with other people. Guide us to discover the gifts you have given us and share them with others in your name. Help us to be people of prayer in all things like he was. Amen.
Patricia Mathson, MRE, is the Children’s Ministry Coordinator for a shelter. She has authored many books from Twenty-Third Publications, including 70 Prayer Starters for Children.
Image credit: Zvonimir Atletic / Shutter Stock 203634109