A Month with Francis de Sales

An Introduction

St. Francis de Sales was bishop of Annecy in the duchy of Savoy and a renowned spiritual director in the early seventeenth century. In 1609, he published the Introduction to the Devout Life as a guide for the ordinary person, offering a way of living a holy (devout) life in the midst of the world. His message was welcomed by many who loved the Lord and wanted to follow the gospel message but whose responsibilities prevented them from leaving the world and entering a monastery. They found in his teaching a way to be holy while living their busy daily lives.

The Introduction has been popular spiritual reading for nearly 400 years. De Sales' message of a universal call to holiness has been given re-emphasis by the Second Vatican Council. 

Live Jesus in me and through me is one way to summarize the aim of Salesian spirituality. De Sales encourages us to pattern our daily living on the example of Jesus as given to us in the gospels. Through heart-to-heart prayer, a conscious awareness of God's presence, and a consistent dependence of the grace of the present moment, each of us can learn how to let Jesus live in everything we say and do each day.

I have prepared a series of meditation from the writings of de Sales. They will offer you insights into how to go about your living in a manner that is holy. May you find in them wisdom and grace, for they come from the hand of a man who has shared with us the fruits of his own lived experience and that of the many persons he directed.

Fr. Michael Donovan, OSFS

Compiled and Edited by
Rev. Michael Donovan, OSFS

To order a copy of this retreat in book form, please contact the Executive Director of the De Sales Spirituality Center at mmurray@osfs.org