St. FRANCIS DE SALES
St. Francis de Sales was the first spiritual
author read by St. Paul of the Cross in his youth, after the Sacred Scriptures.
Constante Brovetto, C.P., writes: "St.
Francis de Sales was the first to be studied by St. Paul of the Cross and
he was already disseminating his teachings at Castellazzo before 1720".
He writes further: "He was indebted to St. Francis de Sales for many of
his expressive comparisons concerning the love of God but ever more especially
for the supreme discretion with which he treats of the exercises of piety,
and for the spirit of optimism with which it is endowed as well as the
calmness with which the spiritual life is treated."
Father Amedeo in his preface to the collected
of St. Paul of the Cross observes of the saint: "St. Paul of the Cross
was well formed in the school of the gentle Bishop of Geneva". A powerful
Salesian influence is evident in the writings of St. Paul of the Cross
with constantly occurring images and vocabulary echoing the Treatise
of the Love of God by St Francis de Sales.
Even a cursory review of the Letters of
St. Paul of the Cross reveal some fifty-five citations directly from the
writings of St. Francis de Sales.
notes taken from St. Paul
of the Cross
A Source / Workbook for
Jude Mead, C.P., p. 205
Some internet sites on St. Francis de Sales
Francis de Sales
Introduction to the Devout Life and
the Treatise on the Love of God
Wendy M. Wright
Crossroad, New York, 1997
"This little volume has been written to
introduce the modern reader to the person and thought of St. Francis de
Sales, the seventeenth-century bishop and author who is considered one
of the masters of the Christian spiritual tradition. My perspective in
writing this volume has been focused by two considerations. First, I have
wished to depict both accurately and attractively this man who has been
pronounced a doctor of the church (which means that his teaching has been
officially recognised for its wisdom and fullness). That is to say, I have
hoped, as much as possible across the centuries, to introduce you to a
living person, someone who has struggled with the question of what it is
to live the Christian life and to live it well. I hope that reading this
book will be a little like going on retreat; that you take the opportunity
to "sit with" and "pray with" Francis de Sales and to integrate some of
his spirit and insight into your own struggle to live the Christian life"
( To the Reader, p. 15).