Counter-Reformation Preacher

I have a recollection reading about a catholic priest during the counter-reformation period whose preaching returned many to the faith, maybe around Switzerland. I cannot seem to find the name of this priest or even confirm if my recollection is correct. I just moved so I cannot search my books. Does anyone know who I might be thinking of? Thank you!


(Just for context I am writing a letter to a local priest who praised Martin Luther in a recent parish bulletin for his reforms. I have already pointed out how he should not be praised and listed some true reformers from the period who were loyal to the Church. However, I have this idea that I’m leaving this figure I described above out and I cannot think of who it is.)

It sounds like St. Francis de Sales.

:thumbsup: We have a winner :thumbsup:

Yep it’s him.

If you are interested in further reading on the phenomenal preaching of St. Francis De Sales in the Calvinist countryside, check out the linked book. His arguments and apologetics are within.

That’s a great book and his arguments are still relevant today–it used to be available in full online (sadly, no longer it seems). It also has one of the best explanations and defenses of papal infallibility available.

It’s still available here:

Another counter-reformer was St. Peter Faber. His biography is here:

That book calls him Blessed Peter Faber, but he has since been canonized. He was alive and active when Martin Luther was still alive and active, and preached to Protestants in Germany. With Johann Eck, he helped write the Pontifical Confutation of the Augsburg Confession in 1530. It is notable for discussing areas of agreement as well as disagreement, and even goes into the legitimate need for true reform.

His writings against protestantism are not as antagonistic toward protestants as some other writings of the time, but in many places he strikes a more friendly tone. He once said:

St. Peter Faber - “[It] is essential that whoever desires to be useful to heretics in our day should both nourish in himself a great affection for them and show it in action, removing from his own mind those unfavourable imaginations which make us think less well of them.” (Instructions How to Deal with Heretics, as it appears in The life of Blessed Peter Favre by Giuseppe Boero, Chapter 13)

“The next thing is, to win their goodwill and inclinations to such an extent that they may reciprocate our kind feelings and think well of us. This may easily be done by speaking to them affectionately, and dwelling in familiar conversations on those points only on which they agree with us, avoiding everything like a dispute, in which one side always assumes an air of superiority, and shows contempt of the other. Those subjects should be first chosen in which there is a sympathy and union of wills, rather than those which tend to disunite them by opposition of opinion.” (ibid.)

He Also talked fervently about areas of disagreement, and he is a notable early example of a good Catholic way to deal with protestants.

Thank you everyone for your responses! Yes, St. Francis de Sales was who I was thinking of. I very much appreciate the help.


Awesome! All my usual links to it had died. It looks like it is also here in a nice format:

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