- Historical event
- 28 December 1622
- St. Francis de Sales was of aristocratic origin, from the Château de Sales in Savoy. The Château de Sales was located south of the city of Geneva, and only fifty kilometers from the highest Alpine peak of Mont Blanc.
St. Francis de Sales, a renowned saint of the Catholic Church, died on this day in 1622. By the year of birth – 1567 – he was roughly of the same generation as Galileo Galilei and William Shakespeare. It is interesting that St. Francis de Sales was of aristocratic origin because he was born as a nobleman in the Château de Sales in Savoy. This location is today in France, and it was once a part of the Duchy of Savoy (dynasty that ruled that duchy later became the Italian royal dynasty). The Château de Sales was located south of the city of Geneva, and only fifty kilometers from the highest Alpine peak of Mont Blanc. When he was 34 years old, St. Francis de Sales was appointed Bishop of Geneva. However, Geneva was at that time governed by Calvinists (Protestants who were once in conflict with Catholics). St. Francis de Sales therefore could not reside in Geneva, but the town of Annecy in the Alps, south of Geneva and not far from the mentioned saint’s birthplace Château de Sales. On this day St. Francis de Sales died at Lyons, at the age of 55 years.
St. Francis de Sales is famous for his gentleness, patience and kindness. He was even declared a Doctor of the Church. In the 19th century St. John Bosco founded the famous Salesian Society, which was named precisely in memory of St. Francis de Sales. It is interesting that St. Francis de Sales is revered even by some Protestant communities, not just Catholics.