Francis of Sales

Francis of Sales (Saint) was born near Annecy, August 21, 1567, and was carefully educated at the colleges of La Roche and Annecy. He went to Paris in 1578, and studied with great success at a Jesuit college; afterwards he studied law at Padua. But in 1590, much to the regret of his parents, he devoted himself to the Church, and in 1593 was ordained priest. For some years he was employed in "converting" the Protestants in Savoy, and in 1599 he got the duke of Savoy to expel the Protestant ministers from several districts. He promised Beza a cardinal's hat if he would turn Roman Catholic. In return for this service he was made coadjutorbishop of Geneva; and on the death of the bishop of Geneva Francis succeeded him, and redoubled his zeal for the reform of the diocese and the monasteries. He instituted, in connection with Madam de Chantal, the Order of the Visitation at Annecy in 1610. He died at Lyons, November 28, 1622, and was canonized in 1665. The Roman writers report the number of converts to Popery through his means as 72,000. His writings are published in a complete edition under the title OEuvres de St. Francois de Sales (Paris, 1823, 6 volumes, 8vo; another edition, Paris, 1834, 16 volumes). The abbe Migne has published a new edition, 7 volumes, royal 8vo (1861 sq.). His Traite de l'amour de Dieu (On the Love of God), and his Philothea, or Introduction a la vie devote, are greatly admired, have passed through scores of editions in French, and are translated into most of the European languages. There are many lives of him; the latest are Hamon, Vie de St. Francois de Sales (Paris, 1854, 2 volumes, 8vo), and Perennes, Hist. de St. Francois de Sales (Paris, 1864, 2 volumes).

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