School History

Special Saints

Did you know? Our school’s patron saints are St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal, and our school’s namesake is St. Paul VI.

List of 3 items.

  • St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622)

    St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622) is the patron saint of journalists and writers, and his feast day is January 24. St. Francis de Sales was a French Catholic bishop and spiritual writer who was born into a noble family and initially pursued a career in law. He tried to live each day in gentleness and humility and was known for his ability to communicate spiritual truths in a way that was accessible to everyone. He was canonized by Pope Alexander VII in 1665, and Pope Pius IX proclaimed him a Doctor of the Church in 1877. St. Francis de Sales wrote several influential books on spirituality and friendship, including "Introduction to the Devout Life" and "Treatise on the Love of God," which continue to be widely read and studied today. He believed that friendship was an important aspect of spiritual growth since having strong relationships with others helps people to grow in their faith. One friend he worked closely with was St. Jane de Chantal, with whom he helped found the Visitation Order of nuns. In 1875, Fr. Louis Brisson founded the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, and in 1983 the Oblates were asked by the Diocese of Arlington to administer the new Paul VI High School in Fairfax, VA.
  • St. Jane de Chantal (1572-1641)

    St. Jane de Chantal (1572-1641) is the patron saint of forgotten people, widows, and parents who are separated from their children, and her feast day is August 12. Jane de Chantal was born into a noble family and was married at a young age to Baron de Chantal. Together they had six children before her husband was tragically killed in a hunting accident. After several years of mourning, Jane met St. Francis de Sales, who became her spiritual director and encouraged her to devote herself to God. St. Jane de Chantal is known for her deep faith, her commitment to serving others, and her writings on spiritual life. St. Jane remained steadfast in her mission to help others find God and founded the Order of the Visitation nuns, which focused on prayer, humility, and kindness, and welcomed women from all walks of life. She was canonized by Pope Clement XIII in 1767.
  • St. Paul VI (1897-1978)

    St. Paul VI (1897-1978) is the patron saint of modernization and reform in the Catholic Church, of ecumenism and interfaith dialogue, of journalists, of unborn children, and the pro-life movement. Born Giovanni Battista Montini in 1897, he grew up in a family deeply involved in the Church. Montini was ordained a priest in 1920 and began a long and distinguished career serving in a variety of roles under several popes. In 1958, he was named a cardinal by Pope Pius XII, and following the sudden death of Pope John XXIII in 1963, Montini was elected to succeed him and took the name Paul VI. As Pope, he oversaw the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council, which brought major changes to the Catholic Church, including a greater emphasis on the role of the laity, the use of vernacular languages in the liturgy, and greater engagement with other Christian denominations and religions. He also worked to promote social justice and peace, speaking out against war and nuclear weapons and visiting numerous countries around the world to promote interfaith dialogue and understanding. Paul VI was canonized by Pope Francis on October 14, 2018. PVI students, faculty, and parents went on a pilgrimage to Rome at that time to be there for the canonization Mass. In addition to his many accomplishments, St. Paul VI is also remembered for his humility and simplicity of life. He was known to shun many of the trappings of the papacy and preferred to live in a small apartment rather than the more ornate papal residence. He was deeply committed to the idea of serving others.
Salesian Spirituality is a lived and lively tradition inspired by Francis and Jane. Salesian Spirituality emphasizes common sense and the power of doing little, ordinary, and everyday things for God and others with great passion and great love. It is a down-to-earth way of living the Gospel of Jesus Christ…wherever you find yourself…Live Jesus!
The saint illustrations on this page were done by Sarah Burkat ’23.
St. Paul VI Catholic High School is a private Diocesan Catholic preparatory school for girls and boys in grades 9-12 in Chantilly, Virginia, seeking to help our students Grow in Grace and Wisdom. Our school is part of the Diocese of Arlington and offers rigorous academics, an inclusive community focused on spiritual and leadership formation, and a proud athletic tradition featuring nationally renowned programs competing in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference and the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association.

St. Paul VI Catholic High School is an accredited member of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.