Introduction to the Devout Life

February 23, 2015

This classic devotional work was written precisely for the laity. St. Francis de Sales (1567–1622) may have been the first spiritual writer to compose a treatise specifically devoted to lay spirituality. As he states in his preface, those who have written previously on the spiritual life have done so for the instruction of persons who have given up association with the world or have taught a spirituality that would lead persons to do so. The intention of St. Francis, however, was to give spiritual instruction to those who remain in the world, in their professions and in their families, and falsely believe that it is impossible for them to strive for the devout life.

Introduction to the Devout Life