St. Francis de Sales

Feast • Jan. 24

Church • Bennington

St. Francis de Sales is best known for encouraging and celebrating the sanctity of both the ordained clergy and the laity. Born in 1567 in Savoy, France, Francis chose the priesthood rather than pursuing a career in law, a move which came as a great surprise to his father. A gifted preacher and writer, his two best-known books are “Introduction to the Devout Life” and “A Treatise on the Love of God.” A Doctor of the Church, he was declared the patron saint of both the Catholic press and Catholic writers. His feast day is Jan. 24.

Sacred Heart-St. Francis de Sales Church in Bennington was built in 1892. It was the first Roman Catholic church in southern Vermont.  “For me, it’s a joyful place where I meet Christ in the sacraments,” said parishioner Martha Hojnowski. “When I walk inside our church and see the tabernacle there, that’s everything. Jesus draws us to Himself there, so we come closer to each other in the process.”

—Originally published in the Winter 2020 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.