St. Francis de Sales presenting a book to three nuns

Meekness – Fourteenth Day of May


Learn of Me that I am meek and humble of heart. St. Matt. 11:29.


The only aim of a Superior should be the love of God and the sanctification of the souls confided to him. He cannot better arrive at this end than by humility, sweetness, and good example. — St. Vincent de Paul.

St. John the Canon, during a time when he was prior, was addressed disrespectfully by one of the religious. The saint listened with much tranquility. One of the brethren asked him afterwards why he had not commanded silence, which he was justified in doing. He replied: “When a house is on fire, is it well to throw on more wood? This good Brother was on fire with anger. Had I replied, his fury, instead of diminishing, would have increased.”

“When humility is wanting on one side, charity must abound on the other,” wrote St. Francis of Sales to St. Jane Frances. At one time St. Francis of Sales was obliged to imprison a priest who had led a scandalous life and whom he had pardoned many times. The priest begged to see St. Francis, asked his pardon, and promised to amend his life. The holy bishop, move with tenderness, forgave him once more, and addressed him thus: “I conjure you for the love of God, in Whom we all hope, to have pity on me, on this diocese, on the clergy of the Church, whom you have disgraced by your scandalous life, which has given occasion to our enemies to blaspheme our faith. I beseech you to have pity on yourself, and on your soul, which you will lose for all eternity. I exhort you in the name of Jesus Christ to reconcile yourself with God by a sincere penance. I beg of you by all that is most sacred on earth and in heaven, by the blood of Jesus Christ which you trample under foot, by the goodness of this divine Saviour Whom you again crucify, by the Spirit of grace Whom you outrage.” The culprit was so moved with these words and by the manner of the saint that he not only never fell again, but became a model of virtue.


My God, grant me the grace to practice humility and sweetness; grant that I may give good example to those confided to my care. May pure charity animate me whenever I have occasion to correct.

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