Serenity of Countenance

Be very mild and very gracious in the midst of your exterior occupations, for every one expects this good example from you. -St. Francis de Sales

It is said of this Saint that amid all his activity he preserved a countenance mild, tranquil, and peaceful, and that he was never known to lose the least jot of his cheerfulness and serenity, in whatever business he was engaged.

The same is said of St. Vincent de Paul. He never lost his tranquillity of mind in the midst of affairs, however numerous or troublesome they might be. And it was wonderful to see how he received all persons with the same serenity of countenance, and satisfied their demands, whatever their rank might be, with great courtesy, and without ever giving a sign of weariness or vexation at their importunity.

St. Athanasius writes of St. Anthony, that he always appeared so joyful, that every day seemed like Easter with him, and that a stranger coming to see him, could pick him out from a multitude of monks, by the gladness and benignity which shone upon his countenance. And the same writer adds that this joy was occasioned by the great hope which he had of Paradise; for he had his mind always fixed on the eternal things above, of which he could not think without rejoicing.

The process of canonization of St. Thomas of Aquin states that he was never seen angry or even disturbed, but that at all times and in all occupations, he retained serenity and cheerfulness of countenance to such a degree, that those connected with him, experienced consolation and a certain spiritual joy by merely looking at him.

Text from A Year With the Saints (New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1891).

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