To journalists - Catholics
Fr Ireneusz Skubis
In 1923 the Pope proclaimed St Francis of Sales Patron of journalists and Catholic writers. The saint was born in the Duchy of Savoy in 1567. He was a priest, bishop, educated man, creator of the so-called school of Salesian spirituality as well as founder of the nuns of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin. He was already canonised in 1655 and in 1877 Pope Pius IX proclaimed him Doctor of the Universal Church. As a zealous shepherd for the clergy and laity he defended the Catholic faith against Calvinism, and he was the personality who influenced many people. Some of them found the sense of their lives in brotherhoods and societies, having the Salesian spirituality. It was St John Bosco that especially admired St Francis. Bosco founded the Salesian Society and made St Francis the spiritual patron of his society.
Taking into account his enormous pastoral involvement and use of written word (press, leaflets, writing) St Francis of Sales was named patron of Catholic journalists.
Journalism is a special profession. We can see how important the quick, brief and attractive news is. Looking for such news has become passion of numerous journalists who are ready to do anything to get and broadcast news. However, their news shapes the awareness of millions. Therefore, a journalist should be a competent person, responsible for his word and image, and he should be aware of his social mission. This especially applies to Catholic journalists and a Catholic journalist is not only the one who works in Catholic media. It is also a journalist - Catholic. He or she can always play a positive and creative role; can be an apostle of Christ's teaching, a teacher of love and Christian freedom. It is enough to be obedient to your conscience and work on your character as well as develop your inner life.
St Francis de Sales is an excellent patron for us, journalists, because of one more thing: in his work he was characterised by extraordinary cheerfulness and positive attitude towards the world. This is a feature that is very much needed for men of letters so that they can write about the truth and defend the truth, inspire to think and give people hope; they should not write people off or discourage them from action.
St Francis de Sales is also the patron of Catholic writers. Christian writing is the field of very talented people who have valuable reflections and make thorough analyses. Let us ask for St Francis's intercession especially for the people of this profession.
I cordially invite you to reflect on the biography of St Frances de Sales, his great love of Christ and the whole theology of the Holy Scriptures, which later influenced his attitude towards other people and societies. Let us also pray today for all our journalists so that they understand their great mission to spread good. May St Francis de Sales give us his cheerful spirit, may him give us the joy flowing from the fact that we are not alone, that God is walking with us and he never leaves us.