Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Gentle Saint: a post mortem exam

Tonight, we finished reading “St. Francis of Sales: A biography of the gentle saint” written by Louise Stacpoole-Kenny. We’ve been using the book for our spiritual reading for the past months.

The book is not an easy read. French expressions are peppered generously in each chapter and pronouncing them has always been a major concern. I also agree with Migs’ observation that the book is too wordy. But the biggest problem is that it did not have a strong documentation. The footnotes were used as a means to translate French expressions, and nothing else.

Anyway, the paragraph below got my attention:

Francis de Sales died on December 28, 1622, in the fifty-sixth year of his age and the twentieth of his episcopate. Yet, though not an old man, he was quite worn out from suffering and privations. When his body was examined, it was found out that his heart was sound; but his liver was burnt up, one lung was wounded by a sword, part of the brain was suffused with blood, and instead of the gall, were three hundred little hard balls like the beads of a rosary. This phenomenon, the doctors explained, was caused by the extreme efforts he had made during his life to restrain his natural propensity to anger.