Book of Saints – Francis of Sales

Saint Francis de SalesArticle

(Saint) Bishop (January 29) Doctor of the Church (17th century) A Saint who, in the words of Saint Paul, made himself “all things to all men,” and whose characteristic virtues were unflagging zeal tempered by unconquerable gentleness. He is best studied in his own writings, especially in his “Introduction to a Devout Life,” and in his “Treatise on the Love of God.” Born A.D. 1546 of noble parents near Annecy in Savoy, he studied at Paris and at Padua, and having entered the Ecclesiastical state, was made coadjutor to the Bishop of Geneva. In Savoy he distinguished himself by his wonderful Apostolate of the Calvinists of the Chablais, in which district he made within two years over eight thousand converts. On the death of the Bishop he succeeded to the See of Geneva, and was consecrated A.D. 1602; but repeatedly refused a Cardinalate. He preached constantly in his own Diocese and elsewhere, and always with great gain of souls to God. Together with Saint Jane Frances he founded the Order of the Visitation. Having put his Diocese thoroughly in order, he, at the request of the Duke of Savoy (A.D. 1612), repaired to the Court of Louis XIII of France, intent on bringing about a good understanding between the Sovereigns, and on December 28 of the same year calmly expired at Lyons. His remains were taken to Annecy and laid in the Church of the Visitation. He was canonised A.D. 1665, and declared Doctor of the Church nearly two hundred years later by Pope Pius IX.

MLA Citation

  • Monks of Ramsgate. “Francis of Sales”. Book of Saints, 1921. Saints.SQPN.com. 5 May 2013. Web. 23 December 2014. <>