Fr. DeLillio Blog: A Moment From De Sales

Rev. Richard DeLillio, OSFS is an oblate of St. Francis de Sales. His blog, A Moment from De Sales, reflects on how the ordinary moments of our lives hold the extraordinary grace and presence of our God.

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St. Francis de Sales and the Salesians: A Spirituality for the Modern World

Learn from the powerful model of Salesian spirituality and deepen your relationship with God and the world through this 12-part lecture series by Dr. Wendy Wright, PhD, profession of theology at Creighton University.

St. Francis de Sales (1567–1622) was born to a life of privilege, but after experiencing a profound conversion, he abandoned his wealth to devote himself to God. He went on to become a champion of the poor and a renowned preacher. Along with his spiritual friend St. Jane de Chantal, St. Francis de Sales taught the tradition of devout humanism. The Salesian tradition carries a vital message: God desires you to know and be close to him.

These 12 inspiring lectures invite you to reflect on this message, leading you to the full realization of your identity as beloved son or daughter of God. Under the guidance of one of the world’s leading Salesian spirituality experts, you will explore inspiring models in the Salesian tradition.

These lectures, along with an electronic study guide, are available for purchase here on the Now You Know Media site.

Works by St. Francis de Sales

Available from Embraced by God, Stella Niagara, NY:

St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life (There are many editions—a good one is translated w/ introduction/notes by John K. Ryan. New York; Doubleday Image Book, 2003.)

Francis de Sales: Introduction to the Devout Life and Treatise on the Love of God (The Crossroad Spiritual Legacy Series. Wright, Wendy M. New York: Crossroad, 1993.)

St. Francis de Sales, Selected Letters (Translated, with introduction by Elizabeth Stopp. London: Faber & Faber/New York: Harper, 1960._

The Sermons of St. Francis de Sales on Prayer (Edited by Lewis S. Fiorelli, translated by the Nuns of the Visitation [Frances Therese Leary], with a preface by Fr. M. Basil Pennington, and introduction by Canon Henry Benedict Mackey. Sermons of St. Francis de Sales, vol. 1. Rockford, Ill.: Tan Books, 1985.)

St. Francis de Sales: A Testimony by St. Jane de Chantal (Newly edited in translation with an introduction by Elisabeth Stopp. London: Faber, 1967.)

Introduction to the Devout Life Audio Book

IDL on YouTubeDid you know that you can listen to the Introduction to the Devout Life on YouTube? Wow! Thanks to Julianne Jackson of our Gulf Coast group for bringing this to our attention. Enjoy the recording here.



Comprehensive Salesian Bibliography

What follows is a comprehensive bibliography of the writings and teachings of St. Francis de Sales. Reprinted here with permission from the author, Joe Boenzi, SDB.

Saint Francis de Sales, 1567-1622:

Toward a Complete Bibliography of English-language Works

compiled by Joseph Boenzi, SDB Introduction

The following bibliography is an update for the internet of a bibliography I was able to publish in the Journal of Salesian Studies in the Spring of this year. The scope of that work was to provide English-speaking students of Salesian ministry and spirituality with a tool that would assist them access the writings and teachings of Saint Francis de Sales.

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Works on Salesian Spirituality

Available from Embraced by God, Stella Niagara, NY:

Francis de Sales, Sage and Saint (André Ravier. Translated by Joseph D. Bowler. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1988.)

Madame de Chantal: Portrait of a Saint (Elisabeth Stopp. London: Faber and Faber, 1962/Westminster, 1963.)

A Man to Heal Differences: Essays and Talks on St. Francis de Sales (Philadelphia: St. Joseph’s University Press, 1997.)

Bond of Perfection: Jeanne de Chantal and François de Sales (Wendy Wright. New York: Paulist, 1985.)

A Retreat With Francis de Sales, Jane de Chantal and Aelred of Rievaulx: Befriending Each Other in God. (Cincinnati: St. Anthony Messenger Press, 1996.)

Live Jesus! Key Aspects of Salesian Spirituality (Lewis S. Fiorelli. Review for Religious 46.4 (July 1987): 491-501.)

Devotions and Meditations

Here are just a few Catholic devotions that are popular with Salesians. Enjoy!

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Salesian Organizations - Our Extended Salesian Family

St. Francis de Sales

The St. Francis de Sales Association falls under the umbrella of the France-based Society of St. Francis de Sales, which also includes the Sons of St. Francis de Sales, Priests of St. Francis de Sales and the Salesian Missionaries of Mary Immaculate. There is a St. Francis de Sales Association website in French (visit it here), and we maintain our own site for U.S. and English-speaking visitors:

Apart from our society, there are numerous other Salesian groups inspired by the teachings of St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal.

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Stations of the Cross

INTRODUCTION (from the Introduction to the Devout Life)

Leader: Philothea, I especially counsel you to practice mental prayer, the prayer of the heart, and particularly that which centers on the life and passion of our Lord. By turning your eyes on him in meditation, your whole soul will be filled with him. You will learn his ways and form your actions after the pattern of his. He is "the light of the world" and therefore it is in him and by him and for him that we must be instructed and enlightened.

All: Lord Jesus, by your cross and resurrection you have set us free. Help us, that through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we might be filled with your light and show to all, through our words and deeds, that you live and continue to walk the face of the earth in and through us. Amen.

First Station: Jesus Receives the Sentence of Death

Leader: We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you ...

All: Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Leader: (from the Treatise on the Love of God, 12:12)

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The Way of the Cross With St. Francis de Sales

The Way of the CrossThe little booklet The Way of the Cross with Saint Francis de Sales, written by Cynthia McMullen and illustrated by Mary Delaney, was published in 2013 is now out of print.

At the request of several groups, it is available here in pdf format.

St. Jane de Chantal's Devotions

In her own words, Jane de Chantal 

"I am Your child, all Yours; good children think only of pleasing their father. I don't want to have any worries and I leave in Your care everything that concerns me, for You love me, my God. Father, You are my good. My soul rests and trusts in Your love and eternal providence." 

"O most holy will of God, I give You infinite thanks for the mercy with which You have surrounded me. With all my strength and love, I adore You from the depths of my soul and unite my will to Yours now and forever, especially in all that I shall do and all that You will be pleased to send me this day, consecrating to Your glory my soul, my mind, my body, all my thoughts, words and actions, and my whole being. I beg You, with all the humility of my heart, accomplish in me Your eternal designs, and do not allow me to present any obstacle to this. 

"Your eyes, which can see the most intimate recesses of my heart, know the intensity of my desire to live out Your holy will, but they can also see my weakness and limitations. That is why, prostrate before Your infinite mercy, I implore You, my Savior, through the gentleness and justice of this same will of Yours, to grant me the grace of accomplishing it perfectly, so that, consumed in the fire of Your love, I may be an acceptable sacrifice which will praise and bless You forever. Amen."

St. Jane's Act of Abandonment

The Rosary


Let us place ourselves in the presence of God

  • the God who is present in all things and in all places in creation (pause);
  • God who is especially present in our heart and in the very center of our spirit (pause);
  • God, in His humanity, who looks down upon His children from heaven, especially those at prayer (pause);
  • and God who is truly present but unseen standing next to us (pause).

My God, by the sign of your cross, deliver me from my enemies.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the God, the Father Almighty; from there He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

Leader: (upon the first large bead)
O holy Trinity--- Father, Son and Spirit--- we adore and honor you. Give us your grace to pray this rosary in a manner most pleasing to you.

O God, come to our assistance!

Let us pray in the words Our Savior has taught us.

"Our Father..."

Leader: (on the first of the smaller three beads)
Let us implore the intercession of Mary the dearest daughter of the Father that God may accept our prayer.

"Hail Mary..."

Leader: (on the second of the three smaller beads)
Let us implore the intercession of Mary, the most-beloved Mother of the Son of God.

" Hail Mary..."

Leader: (on the third and last of the three smaller beads) 
Let us implore the intercession of Mary, the only true spouse of the Holy Spirit.

"Hail Mary..."

Leader: (on the last large bead)
O God, in your mercy, accept our prayers for those for whom we now pray (especially________________).

"Our Father..."
(Upon the following five decades, one may think of some holy subject or upon the joyous, sorrowful or glorious mysteries

Mondays and Saturdays: The Joyful Mysteries

  • the Annunciation
  • the Visitation
  • the Birth of Jesus
  • the Presentation in the Temple
  • the Finding of Jesus in the Temple

Tuesdays and Fridays: The Sorrowful Mysteries

  • the Agony in the Garden
  • the Scourging at the Pillar
  • the Crowning with Thorns
  • the Carrying of the Cross
  • the Crucifixion

Wednesdays and Sundays: The Glorious Mysteries

  • the Resurrection
  • the Ascension
  • the Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost
  • the Assumption of Mary
  • the Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven

Thursdays: The Luminous Mysteries

  • the Baptism in the Jordan
  • the Wedding at Cana
  • the proclamation of the Kingdom of God
  • the Transfiguration
  • the institution of the Eucharist

(Prayer at the end of each decade, after the "Glory Be...")

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of Hell. Lead all souls to heaven especially those in most need of thy mercy.

(After the fifth decade is recited the Memorare -- the same prayer prayed by a young Francis de Sales to end his crisis of faith.)

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto you, O Virgins of virgins, my Mother; to you do I come, before you I kneel sinful and sorrowful; O Mother of the Word incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

Leader: (on the first large bead)
O Lord, we thank you for the grace to offer these prayers to You.

"Our Father...

Leader: (on the first of the three smaller beads)
O Holy Virgin Mary, offer our understanding to the eternal Father so that we might carefully consider His blessings.

"Hail Mary..."

Leader: (on the second of the three smaller beads)
O Holy Virgin Mary, present our memory to your Son, Jesus that we might continually recall His sufferings.

"Hail Mary..."

Leader: (on the third of the three smaller beads)
O Holy Virgin Mary, give our will to the Holy Spirit so that it might be inflamed with the fire of His love.

"Hail Mary..."

Leader: (on the last large bead)
Most Merciful God, we beseech you to accept this prayer to the honor and glory of your Name.

"Our Father..."

All: (optional)
Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do you, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and the other evil spirits who prowl about the world for the ruin of souls. Amen

Leader / All respond:

St. Francis de Sales ... (pray for us)

St. Jane de Chantal...(pray for us)

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque...(pray for us)

St. Leonie de Sales Aviat...(pray for us)

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.


The Memorare - Traditional

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who, fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thine intercession was left unaided. 

Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen. 

Memorare-1604 attributed to St. Francis de Sales 

Hail, most glorious Virgin Mary, Mother of God. You are my Mother and my Queen. Hence, I beg you to accept me as your son and servant since I want you alone to be my Mother and Mistress. I beg you, my good, gracious and gentle Mother, to bring me comfort in all my anguishes and tribulations of body and soul. 

Remember, most gracious Virgin, that you are my Mother and that I am your son, that you are very powerful and I, a poor, vile and feeble creature. Hence, I beg you, my Mother, to govern and defend me in all my ways and actions, for, alas! I am a poor needy beggar much in need of your holy protection. Most Holy Virgin, my gracious Mother, preserve and free my body and soul from evils and dangers, and grant me a share in your possessions and virtues, especially in your holy humility, excellent purity, and fervent love.   

Do not tell me, gracious Virgin, that you cannot, for your beloved Son granted you all power, in Heaven as on Earth. Do not tell me that you ought not, for you are the common Mother of all men and women and especially mine. If you could not, I would excuse you, saying: "It is true that she is my Mother and loves me as her son, but the poor woman has neither wealth nor power." If you were not my Mother, I would wait patiently, saying: "She is rich enough to assist me, but, alas! since she is not my Mother, she does not love me." 

Then, most gracious Virgin, since you are my Mother and you are powerful, how can I excuse you if you do not bring me comforts and grant me your help and assistance? You see, my Mother, that you are compelled to grant me all that I am asking you.

May you be exalted above Heaven and Earth, glorious Virgin and my most Holy Mother Mary, and, for the honor and glory of your Son, accept me as your child, without regard for my miseries and sins. Deliver my soul and body from all evil, and give me a share in all your virtues, especially humility. Grant me all the gifts, favors, and graces that are pleasing to the Most Holy Trinity ... Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. AMEN.