When Saint Francis de Sales was born in 1567 in Thorens-Glières, France, his father had his life planned out for him. This life would be one of nobility, with a career in law that would culminate with his appointment as a magistrate. Francis’ earthly father planned a prosperous and prestigious future for him, but it turned out that his heavenly Father had other plans.
The saint’s early life began with academic training close to home at a school for sons of noblemen, specializing in composition. He then studied philosophy, rhetoric, and theology at a Jesuit-run college in Paris. After obtaining his baccalaureate degree in 1584, Francis continued to study theology in Paris as he grew in his own practice of the Faith. He earned two more masters’ degrees, followed by a doctorate in law in Padua, Italy, in 1591. During his doctoral defense, his oratory skills and intellectual prowess left all forty-eight professors amazed.
Learn more about his life here.