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Jane wanted him to take over her spiritual direction, but, not surprisingly, Francis wanted to wait. I had to be sure that everything in this should be done as though his hand had done it." Jane was on a path to mystical union with God and, in directing her, Francis was compelled to follow her and become a mystic himself.Years after working with Jane, he made up his mind to form a new religious community. Francis was overworked and often ill because of his constant load of preaching, visiting, and instruction -- even catechizing a deaf man so he could take first Communion.During the time of the Protestant reformation, Francis lived close to Calvinist territory.He decided he should lead an expedition to bring the 60,000 Calvinists back to the Catholic Church.He believed the first duty of a bishop was spiritual direction and wrote to Jane, "So many have come to me that I might serve them, leaving me no time to think of myself. Tomorrow I shall do the same and so I shall go on until I have finished." During this time, it was wrongly thought that achieving real holiness of life was a task reserved for only for the clergy and those in religious life, and not for lay men and women.However, I assure you that I do feel deep-down- within-me, God be praised. In addition, that only contemplatives, people who withdraw from active participation in the world, could really achieve holiness."By turning your eyes on God in meditation, your whole soul will be filled with God.
Francis de Sales was born to a noble family at Chateau de Sales in the Kingdom of Savoy near Geneva, Switzerland on August 21, 1567. In 1580, Francis attended the University of Paris, and at 24-years-old, he received his doctorate in law at the University of Padua. He studied theology and practiced mental prayers, but kept quiet about his devotion.
Some tore it up because Francis encouraged dancing and jokes!
For Francis, the love of God was like romantic love.
He forged wonderful alliances with Pope Clement VIII and Henry IV of France, and in 1601 Francis joined Henry IV on a diplomatic mission. Henry grew attached to Francis and saw him as a "rare bird" who was devout, knowledgeable and a gentleman.
In 1602, Bishop Granier died and Francis was consecrated Bishop of Geneva, although he continued to reside in Annecy.