Examples of the Devotion of Saints in various States of Life

September 19, 2021 • 1 min

From Introduction to the Devout Life, page 7
By St. Francis de Sales

It is an error, or rather a heresy, to endeavour to banish a devout life from the camps of soldiers, the shops of tradesmen, the courts of princes, or the affairs of married people.

It is true, Philothea, that devotion, merely contemplative, monastical, and religious, cannot be exercised in these vocations; but besides these three sorts of devotion there are divers others proper to make those perfect who live in secular conditions.

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, David, Job, Tobias, Sarah, Rebecca, and Judith, bear witness to this in the Old Testament.

In the New, St. Joseph, Lydia, and St. Crispin were perfectly devout in their shops; St. Anne, St. Martha, St. Monica, Aquila, Priscilla, in their families; Cornelius, St. Sebastian, St. Maurice in the wars; Constantine, Helena, St. Lewis, St. Anne, and St. Edward, on their thrones.

Nay, it has happened that many have lost perfection in solitude, which, notwithstanding, is so much to be desired for perfection, and have preserved it in society, which seems so little favourable to it. Lot, says St. Gregory, who was so chaste in the city, sinned against chastity in solitude.

Wheresoever we are, we may and ought to aspire to a perfect life.

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