The year was 1587.
The Protestant Revolution had recently occurred, and in Francis’s native Savoy, the Calvinist doctrine of predestination had stirred the Church into discussing just where predestination fits into Catholic doctrine.
Francis listened to the college theologians talk about predestination and grew filled with dread. If God truly did predestine souls to heaven or hell, then he, Francis, was surely destined for hell.
For two months, he experienced a great darkness and temptation to despair.
Finally, he fled to the church of St. Étienne-des-Grès and knelt before the statue of Our Lady of Good Deliverance. There, he prayed the Memorare most fervently.
Immediately, joy and consolation flooded his soul.
After this, Francis made a vow of chastity, committing himself to the Blessed Mother. When he became a priest—overcoming the objections of his family—he set himself to refuting Protestant doctrine and bringing souls back into the Church’s fold. His first mission was against Calvinism and its erroneous doctrine of predestination.
St. Francis de Sales was a prolific writer, to say the least. Between church duty and mission preaching, he wrote an astounding number of treatises, leaflets, books, sermons, and letters—many of them to laymen and women. The letters number more than 20,000! These letters contain practical, pithy, and profound advice for people in every walk of life. Discover some of his best advice in Thy Will Be Done!, a book that will bring you consolation, sympathy, and wisdom, whatever your circumstance in life may be. Get your personal advice from St. Francis de Sales today!