Born in the province of Savoy, St. Francis was destined by his father to be a lawyer. His desire instead was to enter the priesthood. After much gentle persuasiveness, his father offered his consent. At 35, Francis was chosen to be Bishop of Geneva, where he fought Calvinism. It was his gentle character that was a great asset in winning souls. Along with St. Jane Frances de Chantal, he founded the Order of Sisters of the Visitation.

~ In his well-known classic, “Introduction to the Devout Life,” he writes to all Christians, not just those called to religious vocation: “It is an error, nay more, a very heresy, to seek to banish the devout life from the soldier’s guardroom, the mechanic’s workshop, the prince’s court, or the domestic hearth… there are various other kinds of devotion well-suited to lead those whose calling is secular, along the paths of perfection. And we even find instances of some who fell away in solitude, usually so helpful to perfection, some who had led a higher life in the world, which seems so antagonistic to it… Be sure that wheresoever our lot is cast we may and must aim at the perfect life.”