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St. Francis de Sales

PRAYERS TO OUR SAINTS Anxiety can arise due to circumstances, or it may be a recurring mental health condition. Suicide rates in Australia are forecast to rise by up to 50 per cent due to the economic and social impacts of the coronavirus. (Depression and severe anxiety always need to be addressed through a mental health practitioner.) The Saints of the Catholic Church however can help us with their prayers and example; and can give us confidence that even the holiest faced anxiety at times. Just as they triumphed by continually striving to trust God, we can strive — and succeed — in doing so as well. St. Francis de Sales was born to a noble family near Geneva, Switzerland on August 21, 1567. It is said that before entering the Priesthood, he was out riding his horse when God made his will clear. Francis fell off his horse three time. Each time when falling, his sword came out of the scabbard and when both hit the ground they were in the shape of a Christian cross. He became a Bishop and Doctor of the Church. During his lifetime, he served as the spiritual director of St. Jane Frances de Chantal, who struggled with anxiety and depression and later became a canonised saint, herself. Francis helped Jane work through her struggles and pursue holiness, and he can do the same for us today — both by his intercession and by his well-known book, Introduction to the Devout Life.

Do not look forward to the trials and crosses

of this life with dread and fear.

Rather, look to them with full confidence

that as they arise, God, to whom you belong,

will deliver you from them. He has guided and guarded you thus far in life. Do you but hold fast to his dear hand, and He will lead you safely through all trials. Whenever you cannot stand, he will carry you lovingly in his arms. Do not look forward to what may happen tomorrow.

The same Eternal Father who cares for you today

will take good care of you tomorrow and every day of your life. Either he will shield you from suffering or He will give you the unfailing strength to bear it.

Be at peace then and put aside all useless thoughts, vain dreads, and anxious imaginations. (St. Francis de Sales)


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