Francis De Sales, St.

, was born at the castle of Sales, in the diocese of Geneva, August 21, 1567. He descended from one of the most ancient and noble families of Savoy. Having taken a doctor of law’s degree at Padua, he was first advocate at Chambery, then provost of the church of Geneva at Annecy. Claudius de Granier, his bishop, sent him as missionary into the valleys of his | diocese to. convert the Zuinglians, and Calvinists, which he is said to have performed in great numbers, and his sermons were attended with wonderful success. The bishop of Geneva chose him afterwards for his coadjutor, but was obliged to use authority before he could be persuaded to accept the office. Religious aftairs called him afterwards into France, where he was universally esteemed; and cardinal du Perron said, “There were no heretics whom he could not convince, but M. de Geneva must be employed to convert them.Henry IV. being informed of his merit, made him considerable offers, in hopes of detaining hioi in France; but he chose rather to return to Savoy, where he arrived in 1602, and found bishop Grimier had died a few days before. St. Francis then undertook the reformation of his diocese, where piety and virtue soon flourished through his zeal; he restored regularity in the monasteries, and instituted the order of the Visitation in. 1610, which was confirmed by Paul V. 1618, and of whicli the baroness de Chantal, whom he converted by his preaching at Dijon, was the foundress. He also established a congregation of hermits in Chablais, restored ecclesiastical discipline to its ancient vigour, and converted nnmerous heretics to the faith. At the latter end of 1618 St. Francis was obliged to go again to Paris, with the cardinal de Savoy, to conclude a marriage between the prince of Piedmont and Christina of France, second daughter of Henry IV. This princess, herself, chose de Sales for her chief almoner; but he -would accept the place only on two conditions; one, that it should not preclude his residing in his diocese; the other, that whenever he did not execute his office, he should not receive the profits of it. These xinusual terms the princess was obliged to consent to, and immediately, as if by way of investing him with his office, presented him with a very valuable diamond, saying, “On condition that you will keep it for my sake.” To which he replied, “I promise to do so, madam, unless the poor stand in need of it.” Returning to Annecy, he continued to visit the sick, relieve those in want, instruct the people, and discharge all the duties of a pious bishop, till 1622, when he died of an apoplexy at Lyons, December 28, aged fifty-six, leaving several religious works, collected in 2 vols. fol. The most known are, “The Introduction to a devout Life;” and “Philo,” or a treatise on the love of God. MarsoHier has written his life, 2 yols. 12mo, which | was translated into English by Mr. Crathornc. He was canonized in 16 65. 1

1 Moreri. —Dict. Hist. Butler.