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He forged wonderful alliances with Pope Clement VIII and Henry IV of France, and in 1601 Francis joined Henry IV on a diplomatic mission. Henry grew attached to Francis and saw him as a "rare bird" who was devout, knowledgeable and a gentleman.
In 1602, Bishop Granier died and Francis was consecrated Bishop of Geneva, although he continued to reside in Annecy.
In Dijon, Francis saw a widow listening closely to his sermon -- a woman he had seen already in a dream.
Feastday: January 24 Patron of Catholic writers, the Catholic press, the deaf, journalists, adult education Birth: August 21, 1567 Death: December 28, 1622 Beatified By: January 8, 1661 by Pope Alexander VII Canonized By: April 19, 1665 by Pope Alexander VII St. His father wanted him to enter a career in law and politics.
Francis de Sales was born to a noble family at Chateau de Sales in the Kingdom of Savoy near Geneva, Switzerland on August 21, 1567. In 1580, Francis attended the University of Paris, and at 24-years-old, he received his doctorate in law at the University of Padua. He studied theology and practiced mental prayers, but kept quiet about his devotion.
He only set foot in the city of Geneva twice -- once when the Pope sent him to try to convert Calvin's successor, Beza, and another when he traveled through it.
In 1604, Francis took one of the most important steps in his life -- the step toward extraordinary holiness and mystical union with God.
He said, "The thoughts of those moved by natural human love are almost completely fastened on the beloved, their hearts are filled with passion for it, and their mouths full of its praises.
When it is gone, they express their feelings in letters, and can't pass by a tree without carving the name of their beloved in its bark.
He believed the first duty of a bishop was spiritual direction and wrote to Jane, "So many have come to me that I might serve them, leaving me no time to think of myself. Tomorrow I shall do the same and so I shall go on until I have finished." During this time, it was wrongly thought that achieving real holiness of life was a task reserved for only for the clergy and those in religious life, and not for lay men and women.
However, I assure you that I do feel deep-down- within-me, God be praised. In addition, that only contemplatives, people who withdraw from active participation in the world, could really achieve holiness.
His most famous book, INTRODUCTION TO THE DEVOUT LIFE, was written for ordinary lay people in 1608, not just the clergy and religious.
Written originally as letters, it became an instant success all over Europe -- though some clergy rejected the notion that lay men and women could achieve holiness in the experience of their daily life.
For the truth is that this kind of work is infinitely profitable to me." For him active work did not weaken his spiritual inner peace but strengthened it. Francis insisted that every Christian was called to holiness and sanctity, lived within their own state in life.