The devotion of St. Francis de Sales to Mary

July 3, 2021 • 3 min

From Mystical Explanation of the Canticle of Canticles, and Canonization Deposition of St. Francis de Sales, page 161
By St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane Frances de Chantal

It is well known that our Blessed Father had a most perfect devotion to Our Lady, and a tender love for her, accompanied by a true filial confidence in her. He called her, his Lady, his Queen, his Mistress. When he preached her praises, on her feast days, which he never failed to do, it was always with a peculiar fervour, ease, and joyousness.

“You know,” he once said to me in writing, “that our glorious Mistress always gives me special help when I speak of her Divine maternity. I entreat her, sweet Mother of God, to put her hand into the precious side of her Son, and to take from thence His choicest graces, that she may give them to us abundantly.”

At another time he said to me: “I have been feeling most strongly, how great a blessing it is to be a child, though an unworthy one, of this glorious Mother. Let us undertake great things under her patronage, for if we are ever so little dear to her, she will never leave us destitute of what we are struggling to attain.”

In all his necessities our holy Bishop had recourse to the most glorious Virgin, and advised the same to his penitents. He made pilgrimages in her honour to the Chapel of Loretto, to our Lady of Compassion at Thonon, whither he went on foot, and to many other places, where our dear Mother is specially honoured.

He said his rosary every day with extraordinary devotion, and used to tell me that he found all his help in the Blessed Sacrament and in that Holy Virgin from whom he had received special and even miraculous assistance, as I have before said.

He placed our Order, which he himself instituted, under her protection, and named it after the sacred mystery of the Visitation, procuring for us the privilege of saying the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin only, a favour which has since been confirmed to us in perpetuity by our present Holy Father, Pope Urban VIII. The intention of our Blessed Founder in doing this was that there should be an Order in the Church of God, specially consecrated and dedicated to sing day and night the praises of that sovereign Queen, of whom he speaks so worthily and in such high terms in his books, and to whom he has even dedicated his Treatise on the Love of God. This is well and publicly known.

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