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Pilgrim Queen November, 2017 Pilgrimage
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The​ ​headline​ ​of​ ​​Philadelphia​ ​Magazine​​ ​for​ ​September​ ​2017​ ​reads​ ​“When​ ​did​ ​people​ ​get​ ​so​ ​?!?!?! mean?”​ ​​ ​Actually,​ ​the​ ​magazine​ ​didn’t​ ​use​ ​the​ ​​symbol​​ ​for​ ​the​ ​expletive,​ ​but​ ​the​ ​curse​ ​word​ ​itself. Underneath​ ​this​ ​title​ ​is​ ​an​ ​emoji​ ​of​ ​a​ ​smiling​ ​devil.​ ​​ ​On​ ​on​ ​one​ ​side​ ​of​ ​the​ ​emoji​ ​is​ ​the​ ​statement “Smiley​ ​faces​ ​suck.”​ ​and​ ​on​ ​the​ ​other​ ​is​ ​“This​ ​cover​ ​blows.”

My​ ​first​ ​thought​ ​was:​ ​Well,​ ​people​ ​started​ ​getting​ ​mean​ ​around​ ​the​ ​time​ ​newspapers​ ​and magazines​ ​started​ ​including​ ​curse​ ​words​ ​in​ ​their​ ​articles.​ ​​ ​Putting​ ​them​ ​right​ ​out​ ​front​ ​in​ ​the headlines​ ​just​ ​shows​ ​how​ ​far​ ​we’ve​ ​wandered​ ​down​ ​the​ ​road​ ​of​ ​ugliness.

Meanness​ ​seems​ ​to​ ​have​ ​seeped​ ​into​ ​every​ ​aspect​ ​of​ ​American​ ​life.​ ​​ ​It​ ​has​ ​become​ ​a​ ​habit.​ ​​ ​To counter​ ​this​ ​vice,​ ​we​ ​need​ ​to​ ​cultivate​ ​the​ ​virtue​ ​of​ ​kindness.​ ​​ ​St​ ​Francis​ ​de​ ​Sales,​ ​the​ ​patron saint​ ​of​ ​journalists,​ ​can​ ​point​ ​us​ ​in​ ​the​ ​right​ ​direction.

Killing it with Kindness

St.​ ​Francis​ ​de​ ​Sales​ ​was​ ​born​ ​in​ ​1567​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Kingdom​ ​of​ ​Savoy,​ ​near​ ​Geneva,​ ​Switzerland,​ ​to wealthy​ ​parents.​ ​​ ​His​ ​father​ ​was​ ​determined​ ​that​ ​he​ ​should​ ​become​ ​a​ ​senator​ ​from​ ​the​ ​province of​ ​Savoy​ ​in​ ​France.​ ​​ ​For​ ​this​ ​reason​ ​he​ ​was​ ​sent​ ​to​ ​study​ ​law​ ​in​ ​Padua,​ ​and​ ​he​ ​earned​ ​his doctorate​ ​degrees​ ​in​ ​civil​ ​and​ ​canon​ ​law​ ​at​ ​the​ ​age​ ​of​ ​25.​ ​​ ​Francis,​ ​however,​ ​disagreed​ ​with​ ​his father’s​ ​choice​ ​of​ ​careers​ ​and​ ​was​ ​determined​ ​to​ ​become​ ​a​ ​priest.​ ​​ ​In​ ​1593​ ​he​ ​was​ ​ordained​ ​and named​ ​provost​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Chapter​ ​of​ ​Geneva,​ ​the​ ​highest​ ​office​ ​in​ ​the​ ​diocese. https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-francis-de-sales/

Father​ ​Francis’​ ​job​ ​wasn’t​ ​an​ ​easy​ ​one.​ ​​ ​Much​ ​of​ ​his​ ​territory​ ​was​ ​under​ ​the​ ​control​ ​of Calvinists.​ ​​ ​Within​ ​18​ ​months​ ​of​ ​his​ ​ordination​ ​he​ ​volunteered​ ​to​ ​go​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Chablais​ ​region​ ​to re-evangelize​ ​there.​ ​​ ​His​ ​goal​ ​was​ ​to​ ​bring​ ​60,000​ ​Calvinists​ ​back​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Roman​ ​Catholic Church.​ ​​ ​For​ ​three​ ​years,​ ​with​ ​no​ ​money​ ​to​ ​support​ ​his​ ​mission,​ ​he​ ​roamed​ ​the​ ​area.​ ​​ ​No​ ​one would​ ​listen​ ​to​ ​him--no​ ​one​ ​would​ ​even​ ​open​ ​the​ ​door.​ ​​ ​They​ ​threw​ ​rocks​ ​at​ ​him,​ ​slandered​ ​his name​ ​and​ ​slammed​ ​their​ ​doors​ ​in​ ​his​ ​face.

Since​ ​he​ ​couldn’t​ ​get​ ​in​ ​​through​​ ​the​ ​door,​ ​Francis​ ​found​ ​another​ ​way--by​ ​going​ ​under​ ​it.​ ​​ ​He wrote​ ​down​ ​his​ ​sermons​ ​and​ ​then​ ​slipped​ ​them​ ​under​ ​the​ ​doors​ ​of​ ​the​ ​hostile​ ​residents.​ ​​ ​What​ ​he couldn’t​ ​accomplish​ ​with​ ​his​ ​voice,​ ​he​ ​did​ ​with​ ​his​ ​pen.​ ​​ ​He​ ​made​ ​little​ ​pamphlets​ ​and​ ​posters with​ ​simple​ ​explanations​ ​of​ ​Catholic​ ​teaching,​ ​and​ ​he​ ​copied​ ​them​ ​many​ ​times.​ ​​ ​These​ ​were distributed​ ​all​ ​over​ ​Chablais.​ ​​ ​Anyone​ ​who​ ​was​ ​afraid​ ​to​ ​listen​ ​to​ ​his​ ​teachings​ ​could​ ​discretely read​ ​his​ ​leaflets.​ ​​ ​These​ ​teachings​ ​were​ ​later​ ​published​ ​in​ ​one​ ​volume,​ ​the​ ​first​ ​record​ ​we​ ​have​ ​of religious​ ​tracts​ ​being​ ​used​ ​to​ ​communicate​ ​with​ ​people.
www.sfdsschool.org 

Father​ ​Francis​ ​tried​ ​many​ ​things​ ​in​ ​his​ ​efforts​ ​to​ ​reach​ ​hostile​ ​residents.​ ​​ ​Because​ ​parents wouldn’t​ ​talk​ ​to​ ​him,​ ​he​ ​went​ ​to​ ​the​ ​children.​ ​​ ​When​ ​the​ ​parents​ ​saw​ ​how​ ​kind​ ​he​ ​was​ ​to​ ​their children,​ ​they​ ​became​ ​willing​ ​to​ ​talk​ ​to​ ​him.​ ​​ ​He​ ​even​ ​used​ ​his​ ​skills​ ​at​ ​card​ ​games​ ​to​ ​attract​ ​the men.​ ​​ ​Francis​ ​would​ ​first​ ​bankrupt​ ​the​ ​men,​ ​then​ ​offer​ ​to​ ​repay​ ​the​ ​money--​ ​when​ ​they​ ​attended his​ ​Sunday​ ​mass.
​​http://www.cuf.org/2004/02/st-francis-de-sales-co-patron-of-cufs-catholic-responses/

Saint​ ​Francis​ ​de​ ​Sales​ ​is​ ​known​ ​as​ ​the​ ​“Gentleman​ ​Saint”​ ​because​ ​of​ ​his​ ​patience​ ​and​ ​kindness. He​ ​was​ ​polite​ ​and​ ​courteous​ ​to​ ​everyone.​ ​​ ​Although​ ​he​ ​had​ ​a​ ​natural​ ​propensity​ ​toward​ ​anger and​ ​bad​ ​temper,​ ​he​ ​was​ ​able​ ​to​ ​control​ ​those​ ​impulses.​ ​​ ​When​ ​he​ ​felt​ ​inclined​ ​to​ ​anger,​ ​he​ ​would neither​ ​speak​ ​nor​ ​act,​ ​and​ ​he​ ​would​ ​make​ ​no​ ​decisions​ ​until​ ​the​ ​feelings​ ​of​ ​anger​ ​were​ ​under control.​ ​​ ​In​ ​his​ ​own​ ​words:​ ​​ ​​“The​ ​means​ ​of​ ​overcoming​ ​anger​ ​are:​ ​1.)​ ​Forestall​ ​such​ ​feelings​ ​as much​ ​as​ ​possible,​ ​or​ ​at​ ​least​ ​banish​ ​them​ ​at​ ​once​ ​by​ ​thinking​ ​of​ ​something​ ​else.​ ​2.)​ ​In​ ​imitation of​ ​the​ ​Apostles​ ​when​ ​the​ ​storm​ ​arose​ ​on​ ​the​ ​sea,​ ​have​ ​recourse​ ​to​ ​God,​ ​Who​ ​will​ ​restore​ ​peace​ ​to your​ ​heart.​ ​3.)​ ​While​ ​you​ ​are​ ​boiling,​ ​do​ ​not​ ​talk​ ​or​ ​offer​ ​any​ ​opposition​ ​concerning​ ​the​ ​point​ ​in question.​ ​4.)​ ​Strive​ ​to​ ​be​ ​humble​ ​and​ ​courteous​ ​towards​ ​the​ ​person​ ​with​ ​whom​ ​you​ ​feel​ ​angry, especially​ ​if​ ​he​ ​has​ ​shown​ ​resentment​ ​in​ ​any​ ​way.”​ ​​
​​http://catholicism.org/ad-rem-no-187.html 

Everyday Examples

Kindness,​ ​military​ ​style
http://www.post-gazette.com/news/state/2017/10/27/Findlay-sergeant-john-lee-act-of-kindness-l aunches-effort-to-help-military-families/stories/201710190004 

Random​ ​acts​ ​of​ ​kindness https://www.wsls.com/news/virginia/new-river-valley/random-act-of-kindness-at-virginia-tech-football-game-inspires-another

Two​ ​self-centered​ ​New​ ​Yorkers​ ​develop​ ​a​ ​12​ ​Step​ ​program​ ​for​ ​kindness
https://12kindsofkindness.com/ 


Kind Kid's  

Another​ ​saint​ ​known​ ​for​ ​kindness​ ​is​ ​Saint​ ​Therese​ ​of​ ​Lisieux.​ ​​ ​She​ ​became​ ​a​ ​nun​ ​at​ ​15,​ ​and​ ​she died​ ​at​ ​24.​ ​​ ​Like​ ​Saint​ ​Francis​ ​de​ ​Sales​ ​she​ ​is​ ​also​ ​a​ ​Doctor​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Church.​ ​​ ​When​ ​Therese​ ​was little,​ ​she​ ​was​ ​pretty​ ​spoiled.​ ​She​ ​was​ ​born​ ​after​ ​four​ ​of​ ​her​ ​infant​ ​brothers​ ​had​ ​died,​ ​so​ ​her family​ ​tended​ ​to​ ​baby​ ​her.​ ​​ ​Her​ ​father​ ​even​ ​called​ ​her​ ​the​ ​“Little​ ​Queen.”​ ​​ ​Because​ ​she​ ​was​ ​so emotional,​ ​Therese’s​ ​big​ ​sister​ ​Marie​ ​tried​ ​to​ ​teach​ ​her​ ​some​ ​self​ ​control.​ ​​ ​She​ ​gave​ ​Therese​ ​a string​ ​of​ ​ten​ ​beads​ ​and​ ​called​ ​them​ ​the​ ​“good​ ​deed​ ​beads.”​ ​​ ​Therese​ ​was​ ​to​ ​move​ ​a​ ​bead​ ​each time​ ​she​ ​chose​ ​God’s​ ​will​ ​over​ ​her​ ​own.​ ​This​ ​practice​ ​taught​ ​Therese​ ​how​ ​to​ ​do​ ​small​ ​deeds​ ​with love,​ ​and​ ​offer​ ​them​ ​to​ ​God. 

Marian Moments
 

Less​ ​than​ ​one​ ​month​ ​before​ ​his​ ​death,​ ​on​ ​December​ ​8,​ ​1622,​ ​Francis​ ​de​ ​Sales​ ​preached​ ​a​ ​sermon to​ ​the​ ​nuns​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Visitation​ ​community​ ​at​ ​Lyons.​ ​​ ​It​ ​was​ ​the​ ​feast​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Immaculate Conception,​ ​and​ ​he​ ​offered​ ​this​ ​commentary​ ​on​ ​Our​ ​Lady:

“Let​ ​me​ ​make​ ​a​ ​comparison​ ​in​ ​order​ ​that​ ​you​ ​may​ ​understand​ ​better.​ ​Do​ ​you​ ​know​ ​how​ ​pearls are​ ​made?​ ​(Many​ ​ladies​ ​desire​ ​pearls​ ​but​ ​they​ ​do​ ​not​ ​care​ ​about​ ​their​ ​origin.)​ ​Mother-of-pearl fish​ ​do​ ​as​ ​the​ ​bees​ ​do.​ ​They​ ​have​ ​a​ ​king​ ​and​ ​choose​ ​for​ ​that​ ​role​ ​the​ ​largest​ ​among​ ​them,​ ​the​ ​rest following​ ​him.​ ​They​ ​come​ ​on​ ​ocean​ ​waves​ ​when​ ​the​ ​air​ ​is​ ​freshest,​ ​which​ ​is​ ​at​ ​break​ ​of​ ​day, principally​ ​in​ ​the​ ​month​ ​of​ ​May.​ ​When​ ​they​ ​are​ ​all​ ​there​ ​they​ ​open​ ​their​ ​shells​ ​toward​ ​Heaven, allowing​ ​drops​ ​of​ ​dew​ ​to​ ​fall​ ​into​ ​them.​ ​They​ ​then​ ​clamp​ ​shut​ ​upon​ ​these​ ​drops​ ​in​ ​such​ ​a​ ​manner that​ ​they​ ​incubate​ ​this​ ​dew​ ​drop​ ​and​ ​convert​ ​it​ ​into​ ​a​ ​pearl,​ ​which​ ​is​ ​then​ ​considered​ ​so​ ​valuable. But​ ​notice,​ ​they​ ​close​ ​their​ ​shells​ ​in​ ​such​ ​a​ ​way​ ​that​ ​no​ ​salt​ ​water​ ​enters.

This​ ​comparison​ ​will​ ​serve​ ​my​ ​purpose​ ​well.​ ​The​ ​Lord​ ​has​ ​done​ ​the​ ​same​ ​for​ ​the​ ​Blessed​ ​Virgin, Our​ ​Lady,​ ​because​ ​at​ ​the​ ​instant​ ​of​ ​her​ ​Conception​ ​He​ ​placed​ ​Himself​ ​between​ ​her​ ​and​ ​sin​ ​–​ ​or rather,​ ​one​ ​might​ ​say,​ ​under​ ​her,​ ​to​ ​prevent​ ​her​ ​from​ ​falling​ ​into​ ​Original​ ​Sin.​ ​In​ ​the​ ​above example,​ ​if​ ​the​ ​drop​ ​of​ ​dew​ ​does​ ​not​ ​find​ ​the​ ​shell​ ​to​ ​receive​ ​it,​ ​it​ ​will​ ​fall​ ​into​ ​the​ ​ocean​ ​and​ ​be converted​ ​into​ ​briny​ ​and​ ​salty​ ​water.​ ​But​ ​if​ ​the​ ​shell​ ​receives​ ​it,​ ​it​ ​is​ ​changed​ ​into​ ​a​ ​pearl.​ ​In​ ​the same​ ​way​ ​the​ ​most​ ​holy​ ​Virgin​ ​was​ ​cast​ ​into​ ​the​ ​sea​ ​of​ ​this​ ​world​ ​by​ ​the​ ​common​ ​way​ ​of generation,​ ​but​ ​preserved​ ​from​ ​the​ ​salty​ ​water​ ​of​ ​the​ ​corruption​ ​of​ ​sin.​ ​It​ ​was​ ​fitting​ ​that​ ​she​ ​have this​ ​particular​ ​privilege​ ​because​ ​it​ ​was​ ​not​ ​reasonable​ ​that​ ​the​ ​devil​ ​be​ ​able​ ​to​ ​reproach​ ​Our​ ​Lord with​ ​the​ ​claim​ ​that​ ​she​ ​who​ ​had​ ​carried​ ​Him​ ​in​ ​her​ ​womb​ ​had​ ​[in​ ​Original​ ​Sin]​ ​been​ ​subject​ ​to him.​ ​It​ ​is​ ​for​ ​this​ ​reason​ ​that​ ​the​ ​Evangelist​ ​does​ ​not​ ​make​ ​mention​ ​of​ ​the​ ​father​ ​and​ ​mother​ ​of the​ ​Virgin,​ ​but​ ​only​ ​of​ ​Joseph,​ ​the​ ​husband​ ​of​ ​a​ ​Virgin​ ​named​ ​Mary.​ ​It​ ​was​ ​of​ ​her​ ​that​ ​Jesus​ ​who is​ ​called​ ​the​ ​Messiah​ ​was​ ​born.​ ​[Matt​ ​1:16].​ ​Thus​ ​by​ ​a​ ​special​ ​grace​ ​her​ ​soul​ ​possessed​ ​nothing [of​ ​Original​ ​Sin]​ ​from​ ​her​ ​earthly​ ​parents,​ ​as​ ​is​ ​the​ ​case​ ​will​ ​all​ ​other​ ​creatures.”

https://tomperna.org/2012/12/03/mondays-with-mary-st-francis-de-sales-on-the-immaculate-con ception/ 

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