Annual Retreat Exercise #10: Consideration of the example of the Saints

October 25, 2021 • 2 min

From Introduction to the Devout Life, page 276
By St. Francis de Sales

CHAPTER XII.

The third consideration: the example of the Saints.

Consider the example of the saints in every condition of life; what have they not done to devote themselves entirely to the love and service of God?

Look on the martyrs, invincible in their resolutions; what torments have they not suffered for the faith?

But above all, behold that innumerable train of fair and delicate virgins, whiter than lilies in purity, sweeter than roses in charity; some of whom at twelve, others at thirteen, fifteen, twenty, and twenty-five years of age, have endured a thousand kinds of martyrdom, rather than renounce their resolutions, not only in regard to the profession of their faith, but also their protestation of devotion; some dying rather than forsake their virginity; others, rather than desist from consoling their companions-in-torture, comforting the afflicted, and burying the dead. O good God, what constancy have they not shown on these occasions!

Consider the unshaken constancy wherewith so many holy confessors have despised the world. How invincible have they shown themselves in their resolutions, from which nothing could ever divert them; how they embraced them without reserve, and maintained them without exception.

Good God! what admirable things does St. Augustin relate of his holy mother, with what constancy did she pursue her design of serving God, both in marriage and widowhood; and St. Jerome also of his dear daughter, Paula, in the midst of so many oppositions, in the midst of such a variety of accidents!

What is there that we might not do after such excellent patterns? They were what we are; they served the same God, and practised the same virtues; why should not we also do as much, according to our condition and vocation, in order to preserve our resolution, and the holy protestations we have made to belong to God.

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