(Castle of salts, Thorens, 1567 - Lyon, 1622) French prelate. Of noble family, he grew up in an atmosphere steeped in Mercy Franciscan and studied in Paris (1582). At the University, the Calvinist doctrines of predestination caused you a deep crisis to believe is condemned; He then issued a vote of love and trust in God which allowed him to restore peace. Now lawyer and priest in 1593, was named coadjutor of the Bishop of Geneva, her uncle (1599). It happened in 1602 at esa headquarters, transferred to Annecy. He reorganized the diocese and, with the help of Jeanne de Chantal, founded the order of the visitation (1610). Prolific writer, joined the psychology with spirituality. his works include Introduction to the devout life (1609), treated the love of God (1616) and eleven volumes of letters.
St. Francis de Sales
St. Francis de Sales
Son of the count of Sales, Francisco made his early studies in schools in La Roche and Annecy; then went on to Paris with the Jesuits. In 1592 he went to Padua, where doctoraría in civil and Canon law. The maturation of their deep spiritual life approached the Jesuit P. Possevin, who helped refine the study of Theology and explained the works of Aquinas.
Returned to Savoy, his father wanted to introduce it in the Senate of Chambéry as a lawyer; but when he tried to marry him, the young Francisco expressed its firm intention to embrace the ecclesiastical state, and professed first vows. He began to preach with success being still Deacon; in 1593, already ordained a priest, tried to convert the Huguenots of Chamblai, and from 1594 to 1598 gave an intense work of Apostolate to reintegrate the Savoy to the heart of Catholicism.
In 1599 the Bishop of Geneva took it as his coadjutor and had to stay some time in Rome; before being consecrated went to Paris and Enrique IV asked permission for the evangelization of Gex. In 1602 he held the bishopric of Geneva, cradle of Calvinism, and focused with new fervor to the apostolic activity; he preached in Dijon, Chambéry and Grenoble, and in 1617-18 returned to Paris, where he met St. Vincent de Paul and resigned the appointment of coadjutor of the Cardinal de Retz.
Together with Baroness Juana de Chantal, later canonized, the order of the visitation, converted in 1626 by urban VII in religious Institute founded in 1610. Declared blessed in 1661 and Holy in 1665, in 1877 it was elevated to doctor of the Church by Pope Pius IX. San Francisco de Sales is the patron saint of journalists and of the Salesians, a set of various congregations founded by Don Bosco; her feast is celebrated on 24 January.
Works of St. Francis of Sales
San Francisco de Sales joined his apostolate a vast activity of speaker and writer; part of his works was edited by him, and the rest appeared posthumously. Between the production appeared after his death include controversies, composed in 1595-96 and published in 1672; spiritual colloquia (1629), Juana de Chantal extracted talks of the Holy with the nuns of the monastery of the visitation; sermons (2nd ed., Paris, 1643); the pamphlets, whose definitive collection lies in the complete works published by the Abbé Migne (1861-62), and, finally, the spiritual letters (Lyons, 1625), set consisting of more than two thousand letters in which spiritual tips are given.
Works published in life there is to highlight the controversy with the Calvinists in defense of L'Etendart de la santé Croix (Annecy, 1597), text followed by the Introduction to the devout life (1609) and the Treaty of the love of God (1616), considered his masterpiece. In a first draft published in 1609 and definitely in 1619, the Introduction to the devout life is the result of the letters he wrote to Lady of Charmoisy in 1607-1608, and was soon released under its definitive title or with the of Filotea, incorrect and incomplete editions. Although San Francisco de Sales ex profeso eliminated all appointments, often employing the words of scripture to clarify his thinking and because, as he says, are "the kindest and the most venerable".
Treating as a fellow Christian, the Introduction to the devout life taught with soft charity that without goodwill man can not receive the grace of God; It deals with acute understanding of the world and its temptations, and calls to prayer, the exercise of the virtue and practice of the sacraments. The urgings of San Francisco de Sales do not know the aridity of theological or doctrinal subtleties; impregnated with friendly simplicity, they speak directly to the heart of Christian, without ever losing sight the dangers, pain and difficulties of the day.
The clarity with which he faces even intimate affairs was criticized by some; but this clearly was one of the same purposes of the Holy. It seems as if with him began, precisely in that city where Calvin preached a new religious literature, inspired by the clear view of men and things. Such merits and razor-sharp prose that plagues made soon known and appreciated these pages.
If the famous Introduction to the devout life presents the duties of every good Christian who live according to the commandments of the Church, the Treaty of the love of God (1616), work to which San Francisco de Sales dedicated greater care, develops some capital points of Christian doctrine more widely. After considering theologically and psychologically is the essence of love, describes the love of God and how born in souls and develops or is turned off. The delivery of the soul to God, the grace of God, who puts a man in a State of bliss and makes it part of the celestial goods, the natural need of all creatures go to God and their thirst for eternal truths are the issues that the Holy light in this work with the fervor of his spirit.
The Treaty of the love of God ends with the exhortation to the practice of charity, humility and other Christian virtues, without which there is no love of God. The Treaty, as well as the Introduction, was also accused of a too obvious translation of theological concepts to sensitive images, up to the point of approaching natural love divine love. But precisely in this daring, allowing San Francisco de Sales lead the mind of the reader, unless it discovers, through the subtlety of the theological problem, lies the original character of the work and its author.