Some Awesome People

Friday, March 15, 2013

St. Louise de Marillac

(1591 - 1660)

Lent: March 15



According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII, the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Louise de Marillac. She was born in 1592, and married in 1613. When her husband died, she made a vow of widowhood and devoted herself entirely to works of charity. St. Vincent de Paul, who became her spiritual director, gradually initiated her into his own charitable works for the poor and afflicted, and in 1639, they founded the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity to which St. Louise dedicated the rest of her life. She was canonized by Pope Pius XI on March 11, 1934.


St. Louise de Marrillac married an official of the royal court, Antony Le Gras, and after his death, in 1625, was an active supporter of the charitable work of St Vincent de Paul, who came to put more and more reliance on her. Mademoiselle Le Gras, as she was known, became the co-founder with him of the Daughters of Charity, whose 'convent is the sick-room, their chapel the parish church, their cloister the city streets'; it was she who drew up the first draft of their rule of life. Her clear intelligence and wide sympathy played a big part in the beginnings of the congregation, whose aspirants she trained and whose rapid growth involved responsibilities, which largely fell on her. At the time of her death, there were already over forty houses of the sisters in France, the sick poor were looked after at home in twenty-six Parisian parishes, hundreds of women were given shelter, and there were other undertakings, as well. St Louise was not physically robust, but she had great powers of endurance, and her selfless devotion was a source of incalculable help and encouragement to Monsieur Vincent.

­ Dictionary of Saints by Donald Attwater.

http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2013-03-15

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