Francis’s father wanted him to be a lawyer so that the young man could take his elder’s place as a senator from the province of Savoy in France. So Francis moved to Padua to study law. After receiving his doctorate, he returned home and patiently, gently, Francis persuaded his father to give his consent so that he could become a priest. Francis was ordained and elected provost of the Diocese of Geneva, then a center for the Calvinists. Francis had great success converting them by preaching and distributing pamphlets he wrote to explain true Catholic faith.
At 35 he became bishop of Geneva. While administering his diocese he continued to preach, hear confessions and catechize the children. His was gentle, practicing his own catch phrase, “A spoonful of honey attracts more flies than a barrel full of vinegar.”
He wrote the Introduction to the Devout Life and A Treatise on the Love of God, many pamphlets and letters. For his writings, he has been named patron of the Catholic Press. His writings, filled with his characteristic gentle spirit, are addressed to lay people. He wants to make them understand that they too are called to be saints.
The Introduction to the Devout Life: “It is an error, or rather a heresy, to say devotion is incompatible with the life of a soldier, a tradesman, a prince, or a married woman…. It has happened that many have lost perfection in the desert who had preserved it in the world. ”