Year of Faith and Blessed Louis Brisson OSFS

Blessed Louis Brisson OSFS, the Founder of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, was beatified on September 22, 2012. At his Beatification Mass, Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect for the Causes of Saints, said that “The Church needs holy priests like Blessed Louis Brisson, a model of faith and charity.”

Blessed Brisson was closely associated with the Visitation Order, having been deeply encouraged by Vistandine Mother Mary de Sales Chappuis for many years to start the Oblate congregation. Their spiritual relationship lasted for many years, thus bonding the Visitation Order with the Oblates. We continue our series for the Year of Faith focusing on Blessed Brisson’s insights.

Blessed Brisson’s deep faith is reflected in some of the following observations and thoughts about the life of faith, which are as pertinent today as they were in the late 1800’s. He said,

“Quite frequently, families consider religion a formality … Faith becomes merely a way of instructing the mind. However, it is not enough to be told rough-and-readily our duties, one needs to fulfill them at the same time.” (Chapter 1893)

The present system aims at pushing God out of all areas of public life; they even want to prevent people from using the name of God – but for profane purposes. God ought to disappear from all our customs and habits. In the Oblates on the contrary the good God shall have a say in everything. (Chapter 1891)

Let us cling onto God and never part from him, whatever it may be. He is the core of our being and the marrow of our soul. (Chapter 1891)

As soon as one lets God go, there is no more solid foundation, and everything collapses. (Retreat 1890)

In all our activities God must be included. This gives us the true direction, the true way which every soul must follow. This is the true purpose for which we should strive, the true purpose for which we should steer. Turning towards God blesses all our actions.” (Chapter 1894)

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