The saint for March 15
Saint Louise de Marillac
 
Memorial--France
Feast--Daughters of Charity

Born August 12, 1591, Meux, France
Died March 15, 1660, Paris France
Canonized 1934 by Pope Pius XI

Louise never knew her mother, who died soon after her birth. Her father undertook to have her educated at the Dominican convent in Puissy, where the young Louise helped to care for her aunt, a religious of that house.

Louise had early longings for the religious life, but was discouraged from this by her confessor, who felt she lacked the constitution to endure its rigors, as her health was delicate. Instead, Louise was advised to marry, and taking this advice to heart she accepted a marriage contracted for her with the queen's secretary, Antoine le Gras.

Her talents as a nurse were soon in demand again, alas, as her husband did not enjoy good health. Louise cared for him throughout his illness, until his death. When she was not mursing Antoine, she was working in the streets of Paris, ministering to those most in need. She cared for abandoned childred,visited the sick and carried food to prisoners unable to fend for themselves.

Around this time she came under the spiritual direction of St. Vincent de Paul, who gradually began to see in Louise the answer to some of his prayers. After the death of her husband, under the direction of St. Vincent, Louise founded the order of The Daughters of Charity in 1633. Louise professed in her order, took its vows and remained its superior until her death.

When Mother de Marillac's body was exhumed for examination, it was found to incorrupt. Today her remains, which have deteriorated, are encased in a wax figure in Revily, France.

Patroness of Social Workers
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