For four hundred years this book has taught and inspired Christians. It provides step-by-step instructions in the form of a long letter addressed to Philothea, or one who loves God. The book teaches that anyone can live a life devoted to God, even while remaining in ordinary life. Contents include how to cultivate the desire for a devout life; the means of raising the soul to God by prayer and the sacraments; the practice of virtues; advice against temptations; and renewing the soul and confirming it in its devotion. Francois de Sales (1567-1622) was bishop of Geneva and an energetic evangelist in the Savoy region of his native France. The wisdom of St. Francis' advice is confirmed by the fact that the book's spiritual value has been proved in four centuries of Christian lives.