It is on this date that we would like to propose a biography of the saint, especially suitable for wide distribution, promoting a renewed familiarity with St. Francis de Sales, the first step in tuning in to his extremely rich spirituality and continuing to feed from its source.
This is a classic of Salesian hagiography. It is a text written by André Ravier, his attentive and profound connoisseur.
Starting from the original French and from the previous Italian edition by the publisher LDC, we have arrived at the present volume, revised and enriched with an introduction, an afterword, new images and captions. It was the fruit of the teamwork of Fr Morand Wirth, Fr Aldo Giraudo, and Fr Wim Collin, to whom goes the gratitude of those who will benefit from this gift during the jubilee year that has just begun.
The text has been published in Italian by LDC and can be easily acquired from the publisher's website.
The Formation Sector has taken steps to have this work translated into the principal languages in use in the Congregation so as to facilitate its widespread dissemination as much as possible.
The digital version of the volume can be downloaded from this page by clicking on the following links.
The 4 PDFs are permanently available on the Salesian Digital Library.
A sincere thanks to the editors of this renewed edition, to the translators, and to Mr. Hilario Seo who provided the layout of the PDFs on the original graphic version kindly made available by LDC.
As an invitation to read we propose what Fr. Wirth writes:
"Father André Ravier wished to quote the testimony of Saint Vincent de' Paoli, disciple and friend of the Bishop of Geneva, who stated that 'Bishop di Sales ardently desired to be a portrait of the Son of God,' to the point of becoming 'the man who best reproduced the living Son of God on earth.'"
We make our own the apostolic project of the Doctor of Love, who inspired Saint John Bosco and also Father André Ravier, who concludes his presentation as follows: "Francis de Sales is a person who wanted - like Jesus Christ on earth - to love God with all his human heart: and, having experienced the demands and the sweetness of this gift, he worked to introduce as many souls as possible to what he magnificently calls 'the eternal freedom of love'."