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Toronto Catholic District School Board

School History And Tradition

St. Francis de Sales was a bishop of Geneva in 1602. As a boy, he studied very hard and prayed a great deal. When he was 24 years old, he became a doctor of law, and soon after was offered the position of a senator in the senate of Savoy. He told his father he did not want to be a senator, but a priest, so Francis was ordained on December 18, 1593. One of his first assignments as a priest was to do missionary work in Chablais. All but 20 people in the whole province had given up their religion. He began to distribute leaflets explaining Catholic doctrine, and through these he reached more people than he could have reached by preaching.


He spent five years as a missionary and, in 1602 became bishop of Geneva. He was known for his great kindness to everybody, and for teaching people how to love God.


He died at age 56 after serving as bishop of Geneva for 20 years.


In all his talks and writings, St. Francis de Sales insisted that those who want to love God must learn meekness. “If there were anything more excellent than meekness, God certainly would have taught it to us, yet there is nothing to which He so earnestly urges us all, as to be meek and humble of heart,” said Francis. Pope Pius IX made St. Francis de Sales patron of all Catholic writers.


St. Francis de Sales Catholic School first opened in 1971.