Advice from the Patron Saint of Writers

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Relatable writer, devoted spiritual director

January 24 is the feast of St. Francis de Sales, who’s renown for penning several books and hundreds of letters. It’s little wonder that he’s the patron of writers! Born in 1567, Francis was a bishop, spiritual director, and writer. He dealt with depression in his early life, but after much prayer and patience, he was able to overcome it by reflecting on God’s love. He also had major anger issues—but by prayer and some ingenious methods, was able to almost completely eradicate them by the end of his life. These struggles helped Francis become a compassionate and wise spiritual director; he even invented a sign language to communicate with a deaf person who came to him for help! He wrote hundreds of letters, and is most famous for his Introduction to the Devout Life, which was somewhat of a radical work for its time. It was written for lay people, not priests or consecrated persons.

Four writing lessons from St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis is an ideal patron for students writing essays, presentations, or dissertations. He’s a special patron for students struggling with depression and anger and those with disabilities. His life not only provides some key lessons in striving for sainthood, but also gives great advice for writers! Catholic author Jared Dees shares writing lessons distilled from Francis de Sales’ life and works.

Prayer for writing

The next time you find yourself struggling with a paper or presentation, ask St. Francis for help:

May the Lord guide me and all those who write. Through your prayers, St. Frances de Sales, I ask for your intercession as I attempt to bring the written word to the world. Let us pray that God takes me in the palm of His hand and inspires my creativity and inspires my success. St. Francis de Sales, you understand the dedication required. Pray for God to inspire and allow ideas to flow. In His name, let my words reflect my faith for others to read. Amen.

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