A generation ago, those who wanted to learn more about Francis life could turn to A Man of Good Zeal: A Novel Based on the Life of St. Francis de Sales, published by American novelist John Edward Beahn in 1958. This imaginative re-telling of the saint's story, based on the historical records of his life and times, now comes to life again in the TAN Legend series of biographical fiction.
St. Francis was born in 1567 in Savoy, a duchy of the western Alps whose fortunes were largely shaped by developments in neighboring France, Switzerland, and Italy. Military and political conflicts there were heightened and complicated by religious tensions between Catholics and Protestants, whose leader John Calvin had settled in nearby Geneva and won a following in some districts of Savoy as well. Francis aristocratic father had great plans to position him for rapid advancement in this turbulent setting: He sent the young man to law school, maneuvered for his appointment as a senator, and chose a noble heiress as his future wife—but God had other plans.
This new edition of A Man of Good Zeal: A Novel Based on the Life of St. Francis de Sales tells the inspiring story of how Francis risked his life to win thousands back to the Catholic faith, transformed the Diocese of Geneva as its bishop, and wrote the spiritual classics that eventually led Rome to name him a Doctor of the Church.
John Edward Beahn
John Edward Beahn (1910-1990) was born in Philadelphia, served in the United States Army during World War II, and became a business executive who discovered his writing gifts later in life. He contributed articles to several Catholic magazines and wrote popular biographical novels of the saints, including: A Rich Young Man (1953) about St. Anthony of Padua; A Man Born Again (1954) about St. Thomas More; A Man of Good Zeal (1958) about St. Francis de Sales; and A Man Cleansed by God (1959) about St. Patrick's Confession.
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