Francis' family was one of society in Savoy, France. As was expected, Francis received only the best education that money could buy in Paris and Padua; however, Francis secretly learned theology and was quick to exchange the lifestyle of society for that of the priesthood.
In 1602 he was appointed Bishop of Geneva and was offered the position of Bishop of Paris, which he respectfully declined.
Francis numbered among his closest friends Saint Vincent de Paul, Saint Philip Neri, and Saint Jane Frances de Chantal. Together with Saint Jane, Francis founded the Order of the Visitation. Most notable of Francis' works was the "Introduction To A Devout Life" and "Treastise On The Love of God".
As Francis was nearing death he suffered greatly. In an attempt to bring him out of a coma, well meaning but obviously misguided doctors pressed hot irons to his head so forcefully that the irons burned through the flesh and left a scar on his skull. Just prior to his death, a nun asked Francis to write about the virtue he most desired; Saint Francis wrote one word: "Humility". Francis died at the age of 56.
Saint Francis de Sales was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1877. Saint John Bosco was so impressed by Saint Francis de Sales that he named a religious order after him - The Salesians