Louise was born on August 15, 1591, in France. She had always wanted a religious but her poor health kept any of the orders from taking her. She married Antony LeGras in 1611, an official to the queen. Her husband died thirteen years after their marriage, leaving Louise with a son.
Saint Vincent de Paul was her confessor. St.Vincent organized groups of men and women to help the poor and the sick in each parish, and from them, with the help of Louise de Marillac, came Daughters of Charity dedicated to the bodily and spiritual service of the poor. Ten years later, it was approved by the Church.
She founded the Sister of Charity, took her vows in that order and served as its superior.
St.Vincent said that the chapel of the Sisters is the parish church, their cloister the streets of the city and the wards of the hospitals.
St.Vincent found in Louise a woman of great courage, and marvelous self-sacrifice in spite of her feeble health. She was most willing to humble herself in doing works of charity. Louise was always motherly in dealing with the Sisters as well as the poor and the sick.
In her last days she said to her grieving Sisters: "Be diligent in serving the poor. Love the poor, honor them, my children, as you would honor Christ Himself." She died on March 15, 1660.
O God, You inspired St. Louise to strive for perfect charity and so attain Your Kingdom at the end of her pilgrimage on earth. Strengthen us through her intercession that we may advance rejoicing in the way of love.Go Back
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