Introduction to the Devout Life was first published in 1609, prior to the death of St. Francis in 1622. It was widely popularity, both in Protestant and Catholic circles. It was translated into all major languages of that day. It is often thought to be of the spirit of the reading form known as lectio divina ("divine reading")
During his life Francis de Sales provided spiritual direction to many people. This work is a compilation of letters and notes used in the spiritual direction of his cousin, Madame Marie de Charmoisy. The correspondence started when she revealed to Francis her desire for piety among the struggles and distractions of her life at court. When she returned to Paris, she showed the letters to her Jesuit Father confessor, who encouraged Francis to publish them as a collected work.
There are five parts to the book, marking the progress in a Christian spiritual journey.
1) Attaining a Firm Resolution to the Devout Life
2) Prayer and the Sacraments
3) The Practice of Virtue (patience, meekness, humility, obedience, chastity, and poverty)
4) Ordinary Temptations and how to overcome them
5) Renewing and Confirming the Soul in Devotion
This app is cross-linked with the World English Bible.