RMG – St. Francis de Sales in Pastoral Perspective: Salesian Gentleness and Integral Formation

29 April 2022

(ANS - Rome) - At the end of the month of April lived in the light of Easter, the Sector for Formation of the Salesian Congregation proposes the second of a series of five videos on St. Francis de Sales, presented in a pastoral perspective. While the first had as its theme the human explained by God (accessible here in Italian, English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese), this second focuses on "Salesian gentleness."

Fr Michele Molinar, who curated the series with the offices of Youth Ministry and Social Communication of the Special Circumscription of Piedmont and Valle d'Aosta (ICP), begins by clarifying what gentleness is not in St. Francis de Sales, and then makes us perceive the richness of this gift lived and delivered by the holy bishop, with direct references to his life experience.

Salesian gentleness is not about being indulgently yielding, and it is certainly not wedded to weakness of character. For St Francis de Sales, gentleness as he lived, felt, and proposed it, and which was a path of lifelong daily conversion for him, had a deeply Christian source. It starts with Jesus who said of himself, "I am meek and humble of heart."

To be honest, gentleness is not a single entity: it is one of a pair where the two terms are not even equivalent: kindness and humility. Francis de Sales would say that these two acts of the believer are the basis of holiness, and he also says that kindness and humility are somewhat rare virtues.

He would say that we need to be gentle of heart with our neighbour and humble of heart with our God. Salesian gentleness is the combination of these.

The original Italian video has also been produced in voice-over for the other main languages: video ITvideo ENvideo ESvideo FRvideo PT (viewable and downloadable from the respective links).

Those interested in the text can download it from the following links:

text ITtext ENtext EStext FRtext PT.

We would also like to point out that a text by Fr Morand Wirth has recently been published in a digital version in English. This text is a valuable contribution from an educational perspective to the centenary of St. Francis de Sales: "St Francis de Sales a program of integral formation" - published by Salesian Online Resources - Centro Studi Don Bosco.

The original version in Italian is published by LAS: “San Francesco di Sales, un progetto di formazione integrale”.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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