The Origin of This Book

September 9, 2021 • 1 min

From Introduction to the Devout Life, page n10
By St. Francis de Sales

Yet it was neither by my own choice nor inclination that this Introduction now appears in public. A truly honourable and virtuous soul, having some time since received of God the grace of aspiring to a devout life, desired my particular assistance for that purpose; and I, being in many ways obliged to her, and having long before discovered in her a warm disposition for this design, and, having conducted her through all the exercises suitable to her desires and condition, I left her certain instructions, in writing, to make use of, and she afterwards communicated those to a great, learned, and devout religious man; who, believing that many might profit from their perusal, earnestly requested me to publish them. I readily acquiesced, from a conviction that his judgment was superior to mine, and because his friendship had great power over my will.

Now that the whole may be more profitable and agreeable, I have revised and arranged it into a kind of method, adding several advices and instructions which appeared suited to my intention. But all this I have done, having scarcely any leisure; for which reason you will find nothing in this treatise exact or in order, but only a heap of good admonitions, delivered in plain and intelligible words, without my having bestowed as much as a thought on the ornaments of language, having business of more consequence on my hands.

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