St. Louise de Marillac

St. Louise was born in France on August 12, 1591.  She considered a cloistered life, but upon the advice of her confessor, she married Antoine LeGras on February 5, 1613. Her husband was secretary to the Queen of France, Marie de Medici. She gave birth to a son, Michel Antoine LeGras, on October 18, 1613.

In 1619, Louise met Francis de Sales, who became a source of great consolation and support to her when her husband became ill in 1622.  By the time her husband died on December 21, 1625, Louise had taken a vow of widowhood, feeling she had not pursued her call to the religious life.

Louise began spiritual direction under Vincent de Paul in 1623.  Vincent sent Louise on many missions to help the poor in France.  In 1633, together Vincent and Louise founded the Company of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul on 29 November.  

Louise and her order continued to work among the abandoned children of Paris, the plague-stricken poor, and the  sick men of chain gangs in prison. In fact, her order began a home next door to the prison to provide food for the women who visited these men. Louise pushed for every village to have it's own clinic, school, nurse, and teacher.

Louise died in 1660, her order having spread throughout France and even to Madagascar and Poland.  On May, 9, 1920, Pope Benedict XV beatified Louise.  Pope Pius XI presided over the ceremonies of her canonization on March 11, 1934. In 1960, on February 10,  Pope John XXIII declared Saint Louise de Marillac "Patron of Christian Social Workers."


Quotes from Sister Louise de Marillac

"With regard to God, they wish only to fulfill His will by service to the poor with meekness and charity."

"What God wants will be done in His good time."

"Love one another in imitation of the union and life of the Lord."

"Above all, live together in great union and cordiality."

"Charity commits us principally to love God's will above all things."

"The trouble you've gone to won't be wasted: after the rain, the sun shines out!"

"We must often think of what it is that God is asking of us."