A novena prayer in honor of St. Francis de Sales

On Thursday, January 29, the feast of St. Francis de Sales is celebrated in the traditional calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. A Franciscan monk and Oratorian during the turbulent decades immediately following the Protestant Reformation, St. Francis de Sales possessed a deep yet gentle spirituality that has formed countless souls and inspired the founding of many religious orders during and after his life on earth.

A visit on the patronal feast day to a parish church such as that of St. Francis de Sales in Benedict, Maryland, accompanied by the recitation of one Our Father and the Creed, is enriched with a plenary indulgence.  Note that all plenary indulgences require sacramental confession, Communion, prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff, and the absence of any attachment to sin whether mortal or venial.

Another commendable practice would be the recitation of the Collect of the Mass of the Feast of St. Francis de Sales as a novena prayer on each of the nine days up to and including the feast day on January 29:

Deus, qui ad animarum salutem beatum Franciscum Confessorem tuum atque Pontificem omnibus omnia factum esse voluisti: concede propitius; ut caritatis tuae dulcedine perfusi, eius dirigentibus monitis, ac suffragantibus meritis, aeterna gaudia consequamur. Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, Filium tuum: qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

O God, Who for the salvation of souls willed that blessed Francis, Thy Confessor and Bishop, should become all things to all men, mercifully grant that we, inspired by the sweetness of Thy love, guided by his teachings, and aided by his merits, may attain the joys of everlasting life. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

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