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‘Introduction to the Devout Life,’ by Saint Francis de Sales

Introduction to the Devout Life (French: Introduction à la vie dévote) is a book by Saint Francis de Sales, the first edition published in 1609. The final edition was published in 1619, before the death of Francis in 1622. It enjoyed wide popularity and was well-received in Protestant and Catholic circles, evidenced by its translation into all major languages of the day. It is typically categorized as a form of reading known as lectio divina (“divine reading”), based on the Christian monastic practice of spiritual reading. Like The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, it is considered a spiritual classic in the Christian tradition. The work is also used as a guide in Christian spiritual direction.

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