Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Catholic Controversy by Saint Francis de Sales

I just received my used copy of saint Francis de Sales Catholic Controversy. I originally heard about this on the net several years ago when I found snippets of it posted and blogged about it. I never got around to ordering the full collection of his apologetic writings until now. This book is actually a collection of letters, tracts and essays that St. Francis wrote to the people of Chablais who had left the Catholic faith for Calvinism some 60 years before. The letters were then put together posthumously.
       What is fascinating to me is that the apologetic arguments he used to win people back to the Catholic faith are the same as the ones we use now. He defends the papacy, the sacraments and attempts to get the protestants to see how their religion (calvinism) is new and novel comparing it to the doctrines held by Christians since the earliest of times. He wrote these with only a bible, and a catechism and the Controversies by St Robert Belarmine. His quotations and knowledge and use of the Church Fathers was amazing. He was only 27 when he started writing these and fresh out of seminary.
  The people initially were very unreceptive and at times he was in danger of his life. When he could not find anyone to listen to his preaching he decided to start writing and hand-printing tracts and slipping them under the door of the protestants.  Initially there were 72,000 people in the area of which only 27 were Catholic. Just four years later when he left Chablais, 72,000 had converted to Catholicism and just 27 remained protestant. With these impressive statistics you can see why it is important for us to study these writings and learn what we can to help our protestant friends return to the faith. Most of the ex-Catholics I know  left the Church 25 to 30 years ago during the Jesus movement of the  1970's. St Francis ministered to people who had not been Catholic for 60 years~!  It gives me hope.

St Francis de Sales; pray for our non-Catholic brethren to be open to the truth and beauty of the Catholic faith. Amen

2 Comments:

Blogger Just another suburban mom. said...

"Initially there were 72,000 people in the area of which only 27 were Catholic. Just four years later when he left Chablais, 72,000 had converted to Catholicism and just 27 remained protestant. "

That's not a typo is it? There really was nice exact reversal of fortune like that? Amazing!

October 21, 2011 11:35 AM  
Blogger Russ Rentler, M.D. said...

That 's no typo!

October 21, 2011 1:15 PM  

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