When he was being considered for beatification, 5,000 witnesses testified to his heroic virtues and miracles. The Calvinist minister of Geneva said of St. Francis de Sales: “If we honored any man as a Saint, I know none more worthy than this man since the days of the Apostles.” As a young priest, he attracted papal attention when he brought back to the Catholic Faith 72,000 French Calvinists in only four years. He later became Bishop of Geneva, fopunded the Visitation Order and eventually was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church. He confessed that God had given him an affectionate and loving heart; he was never angry, but rather received most graciously even the roughest and rudest persons, such that he became known as “The Gentleman Saint.” All types of people were irresistably drawn to him—from Kings to the most lowly.
This beautiful, popularly written book relates his life and gives the best and most famous stories of St. Francis and the Church in 17th-Century France. It includes his famous reply to King Henry IV who had offered him a richer diocese; the assassination attempts against him by Calvinists; his holy love for his mother, his sister and St. Jane Frances de Chantal; the controversy regarding St. Robert Bellarmine's writings; the tragedy of Mother Angelique of Port Royal; how he raised to life a dead baby in order to administer Baptism and much more!
This is the story of one of the greatest and best-loved Saints of the Church. He did not work many miracles, but he was a miracle of a man. St. Vincent de Paul, his contemporary, said that Francis de Sales was the most perfect exemplar of a Christian he had ever met.