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habit of indulging in excessively prolonged private prayers before and after celebrating mass, to the great inconvenience of those who assisted.
His singular sagacity was always exhibiting itself, and he had an almost unequalled power of concentrating a world of truth in brief epigrammatic phrases like proverbs, which cling to the memory—and often to the heart—of those who heard them. Thus, to enforce the maxim that a rebuke administered ungraciously loses its power, he said :—" You will catch more flies with a spoonful of honey than with a whole barrel of vinegar!" And again :—" No sauce was ever spoilt by sugar." The Bishop of Chalcedon once displayed an unreasonable amount of irritability and impatience. "Do you know, brother," said Francis, "that I think you have really done a great kindness to at least one woman? Guess whom I mean." The Bishop guessed in vain. "Well," continued Francis, "I mean the woman who would have been your wife if you had ever married!" M. de Belley once went to him to complain of some persons who had done him wrong. Francis listened to the tirade patiently, and acknowledged that the offenders were much to blame. "In the matter," he added, "I see only one thing really to your disadvantage." "And that—!" "That you should not know how to be wiser than they, and hold your tongue." That was a fine saying of his :—" Truth which is not charitable proceeds from a charity which is not true"—words that might well be written in letters of gold. Again :—" It is better to make penitents by gentleness, than to make hypocrites by severity." There was wisdom in the rule he laid down for a Bishop's guidance; the wisdom of a large heart as well as of a clear intellect:—" All love and no fear." Employing one of his picturesque images, he said :—" There are no slaves in the royal galley of Divine Love; every oar is worked by a volunteer." He was a great worker, but he did all his work well, because he would never do it in a hurry. "Soon enough," he would say, "if well enough." "People who try to do two things at once will fail in both; you can't thread two needles at the same time." "No one is really poor," said this economist, "who has enough to live upon." His insight into the faults and follies of humanity comes out in the remark that—" If we really knew ourselves,
instead of being astonished that we fall, we should rather wonder that we ever stood upright. We require to learn patience with everybody, but most of all with ourselves; being, as we are, more troublesome to ourselves than any one else is to us." In accordance with his own practice, he earnestly insisted that the clergy should study regularly, and not only theology, but general literature. "Those who fill up their time without allowing any portion of it for study resemble people who reject solid food, and endeavour to maintain life on innutritious and unsubstantial viands. Ignorance is almost worse than faultiness in a priest, since it disgraces not the priest only, but the priesthood."
I have no space to deal with the Bishop's diocesan work, or to dwell on the rare tact and tenderness which he exhibited in his relations with penitents, or the zeal and felicity he showed in catechizing children, or the combined firmness and consideration that marked his intercourse with his clergy. In every aspect of his life and character he was so loveable, that we may well call him the Model Bishop. That he should institute a Diocesan Synod, meeting annually, was what might have been expected from the thoroughness with which he did all his work; and he fully understood that a diocese could not be efficiently administered unless the closest intercourse and most entire confidence subsisted between the Bishop and his clergy. If the overseer hold himself aloof from his shepherds, what will become of the flock? His fame, however, with the Church at large, does not rest upon his episcopal labours, but upon the immortal devotional treatise, a summary of which I have already attempted. The "Introduction a la Vie DeVote" had its origin in some letters which he wrote for the instruction and guidance of one of his converts, a Madame de Charmoisy. These were copied by the Pere Ferrier, for the benefit of the students under his charge; and their value being proved by experience, Pere Ferrier begged the Bishop to publish them. About the same time Henry IV., through his secretary, entreated Francis to write a book which should show that religion was not incompatible with the pursuits of an active career; and for this purpose the notes addressed to Madame de Charmoisy were rewritten by the Bishop, and published in 1608 in the form now so familiar to the Christian world. The success of the "Devout Life" was immediate, and has been permanent. How many souls has it comforted! To how many has it been as a lamp shining in the darkness, and making clear the way they should go! How many has it strengthened in their resolution to live "a life worth living, a life sanctified by the love of God!" No one could have written it but Francis de Sales: and had he done nothing else, the Church must ever have held his name in grateful remembrance. His "Traite' de l'Amour de Dieu," published in 1616, though less known, is a book of very great merit; but it lacks the universal applicability of the " Vie Devote."
The long and intimate friendship which the Bishop maintained with Madame de Chantal, though characteristic of the man in its fervour and faithfulness, would have little interest for the general reader; but it must be noticed here in connection with the Bishop's foundation of the Order of the Visitation. This Order was instituted for the benefit of women, desirous of serving God, whose delicate health or age or other circumstances, such as widowhood, prevented them from joining existing Orders. Asceticism was not to be its principle: the Bishop cared little for the mortification of the body, but he cared a good deal for the discipline of the heart and mind. His order was to be governed by charity and the love of Jesus Christ, and devoted to the care of the sick and poor. The idea of it was conceived as early as 1605, but the Bishop was unable to realise it until five years later, when a house was taken at Annecy, and placed under the supervision of Madame de Chantal. It was occupied for the first time on Trinity Sunday, the earliest associates being Mademoiselle de Buchard and Jacqueline Favre, both of noble birth, and a pious servant, named Anne Jacqueline Coste. The new congregation had its sympathisers, but it had also its detractors, who said that the rules were too indulgent, and that the Bishop had founded a hospital rather than a monastery. To all which Francis calmly replied :—" When God's will is clear to us, we must go forward in spite of all that men may say. We must not take umbrage at unkind sayings when souls are to be saved, and if our congregation did but avert one mortal sin, I should be satisfied. People profess to think that it will go to pieces at my death, but I think our Mother in Heaven will do as much for it there as I can do here." God's blessing was given to the work, and in half a century the Order numbered a hundred and twenty houses. In one respect it differed from the Bishop's intention. He had designed its members to be uncloistered, and to go about freely among the sick and poor, combining the vocations of Martha and Mary; "a life to which he leaned, as more generally profitable and edifying for women, than one of greater restraint and less activity." But he was overruled by the Archbishop of Lyons, and consented that the Sisters should take the usual vows. The spirit in which he framed the Rule, however, was free from austerity and made no heavy demand on the consciences of the sisters. Writing to Madame de Chantal, he says '}—" I would have you to be extremely small and lowly in your own eyes: gentle and tender as a dove. Accept willingly all opportunities of humbling yourself; do not be quick to speak, rather let your answers be slow, humble, meek, and let your modest silence use- an eloquence of its own. Bear with or make allowance for your neighbour; do not dwell upon the contradictions which you must encounter; turn from them to see God in all things, and acquiesce simply in all His decrees. Do everything for God, uniting yourself, or maintaining union by means of a simple glance or turning of your heart to Him. Never be hurried; do everything tranquilly and with a restful spirit; do not lose your inward peace for anything whatsoever, not even when all seems going wrong, for what do all earthly things matter, as compared with your heart's peace? Commend all to God, and keep yourself calm and still in the Bosom of His Fatherly Providence. When you find that your spirit has wandered thence, draw it back gently and with perfect simplicity; and never under any excuse entangle yourself in cares, desires, and affections. Our Lord loves you, and would have you wholly His. Seek no other arms save His to bear you up; no breast whereon to lean save that of His Divine Providence; seek not to see beyond Him and His Will. Let your will ever be so bound up with His as to be wholly one, and leave all else unheeded. Be of good courage, and "Life of S. Francis de Sales," by H. S. Lear, pp. 203, 204.
abide humbly, waiting upon His Sacred Majesty. Desire nought save the pure love of our Lord; refuse nought, however trying, but put on Jesus Christ crucified, and love suffering in Him."
In the autumn of 1618, Francis went on a visit to Paris, where he was immediately called upon to preach, in all churches, and on all occasions, invariably attracting multitudes to hear him, and producing an impression for which his modesty was wholly unable to account. It is computed that during a year's sojourn in the capital he preached no fewer than three hundred and sixty-five sermons; as he often preached twice, and sometimes thrice, in a day. His repute for holiness of life was so great, that people pressed upon him in the streets to touch his garments as if a virtue lay in them; and his time was occupied in giving counsel to the numerous applicants who came to him with their sins and sorrows. The King, deeply moved by his many graces, offered him the Abbey of Sainte Genevieve, and Cardinal de Retz would fain have persuaded him to become his coadjutor and successor as Archbishop of Paris; but Francis wisely declined both positions, which were indeed unfitted for a man so closely resembling the early Fathers of the Church in his intense spirituality and simplicity. Though still in the prime of manhood, his excessive labours had impaired his strength, and he was glad in 1621 to seek a coadjutor for his own diocese, and to find one in his brother, Jean Francois, Bishop of Chalcedon. A conviction of approaching death took possession of his mind, and he hastened to make his brother acquainted with all the details of the diocesan organisation and the views he had formed for the welfare of the people. In thus setting his house in order, he acted with his usual calmness and deliberation. Day by day, however, the burden of the flesh grew heavier to bear; day by day, the end drew nearer. Swellings of the legs, with painful sores, and such an oppression on the chest that to breathe was pain, were warnings which he accepted with thankfulness and submission. Foreseeing that the night was at hand when he could no longer work, he gave himself up to the duties of his office with even an increase of his characteristic diligence. In November, 1622, he was summoned by the