St. Louise de Marillac

Julie Lonneman

Artist's Narrative:
Though drawn to religious life from an early age, Louise was refused admission to any congregation because of her ill health. In 1611, Louise married the secretary to the Queen of France, but her husband died in 1625. During the difficult years of her husband's illness, Louise had a vision in which she saw herself serving the poor and living a vowed life in community. She took it as reassurance that God was guiding her life despite her troubles. In her vision a priest appeared to her, whom she later identified as Vincent de Paul, her future spiritual director and collaborator in ministry. With him in 1633, she founded the Daughters of Charity, the first community of non-cloistered sisters, whose 25,000 members now serve around the world.

Be diligent in serving the poor. Love the poor, honor them, my children, as you would honor Christ Himself."
—Saint Louise de Marillac

France, 1591-1660.

Her feast day is March 15.


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