St. Francis de Sales

Spiritual Conferences

The Spiritual Conferences of St. Francis de Sales are conferences he held with the Sisters of the Visitation. Their aim is to give them what they need for perfection in their vocation, perfection of love for God and for neighbor. This love shows itself in humility and gentleness, humility before God and gentleness to one's neighbor.

The full text of the Spiritual Conferences, translated by Rev. William Ruhl, OSFS, is available through the De Sales Spirituality Center.

Conference 1: the obligation of the Constitutions of the Visitation of Holy Mary; the spirit of devotion.

Conference 2: On obedience.

Conference 3: On confidence and abandonment.

Conference 4: On renunciation.

Conference 5: On love for human persons.

Conference 6: On modesty.

Conference 7: Questions: (a) regarding the confession of things that confessors don't understand; (b) on complaining about someone else; (c) on what to do when given books to read; (d) on telling superiors about those who are guilty of wrong behavior; (e) on finding imperfections in others; (f) whether there should be a distinction between the superior and the other sisters as regards food and clothing

Conference 8: On the five degrees of humility

Conference 9: On the rule

Conference 10: On heartfelt love (accompanied by affability and cheerfulness)

Conference 11: On compliance with the will of God

Conference 12: On obedience

Conference 13: On the intention one should have in entering religious life

Conference 14: On simplicity

Conference 15: On self-indulgence

Conference 16: On new foundations (of the sisters)

Conference 17: On new sisters' entering religious life (recognizing a true vocation)

Conference 18: On the sacraments

Conference 19: On generosity

Conference 20: Questions

Conference 21: Final questions