What does Newark, New Jersey and St. Francis DeSales have in common?
Today, January 24, we celebrate the feast day of St. Francis DeSales. At Mass this morning, we heard the story of the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, New Jersey. I have never been there, but I heard the story how the pulpit in the Cathedral is surrounded by two statues: one of St. John Chrysostom, and one of St. Francis DeSales.
As the story goes, St. Francis de Sales is the patron saint of schools and of wisdom. St. Francis DeSales is also known as the doctor of the Church Lectionary. And St. John Chrysostom was known for his homilies — and his brevity. Our priest this morning was kidding about how most of the homilies he heard there were neither wise nor brief!
I’m sure he was kidding when he said that.
St. Francis DeSales is also the patron saint of writers and journalists. In the 1600s, St. Francis DeSales was having a tough time dealing with those Calvinists. When St. Francis DeSales was the Bishop of Geneva, he gained quite a reputation as a preacher.
Here is a wonderful series of photographs of the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, New Jersey (found on Flickr)