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St. Louise De Marillac As Parable


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St. Louise De Marillac As Parable

  1. 1. Louise de Marillac: Her Life as Parable
  2. 2. 1591-1625: Childhood, Adolescence and Young Adult
  3. 3. Her earliest years •  August 12, 1591: born, daughter of Louis de Marillac and unknown mother •  October 10, 1591: placed in care of Dominican Sisters of Poissy with an aunt. Very well educated •  July 1604: Louis dies. Louise sent to boarding school for girls of lower estate at age 13 •  Summer 1612: Louise’s request to enter Capuchin sisters rejected because of her “delicate health”
  4. 4. Dealing with rejection The Word: Mark 1:40-45 Mark 7:24-30 Mark 10:46-52
  5. 5. Married and widowed •  February 5, 1613: marries Antoine Le Gras – she became “Mademoiselle Le Gras” •  October 13, 1613: son Michel is born •  1617: left with care of four orphaned children of Valence De Marillac – “My deceased husband consumed everything: his time, his life taking care of the business” of this family •  1622: DeMarillacs’ political fortunes improve; Antoine becomes sick and in severe economic need. Louise becomes increasingly depressed. •  August 12, 1623: Louise takes “Vow of Widowhood” •  December 21, 1625: Antoine Le Gras dies
  6. 6. Dealing with anxiety & seeming failure The Word: Mark 9:14-29 Luke 2:41-52; 7:11-17; 8:40-56 Matthew 1:13-23
  7. 7. Living with darkness & the power of prayer The Word: Luke 18:1-8; Mark 14:32-42
  8. 8. The Light of Pentecost “On the feast of Pentecost I was in St. Nicolas-des-Champs during Holy Mass, and all in an instant my mind was cleared of these doubts, and I was made to realize that I must remain with my husband, and that a time would come when I should be in a position to make vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and that this would be done with persons where other women did the same. “I then understood myself to be in a place for the relief and assistance of my neighbors, but I could not understand how this was being done, because these neighbors were coming and going. “I also understood that I was to be in peace as to my director, and that God would give me one, whom he caused me to see, as I supposed, for I felt a repugnance about accepting him, but all the same I consented; and it seemed to me that this was because I was not to make this change just yet. “My third burden was taken from me by the assurance that I felt in my mind, that it was God who was teaching me these things, and that since there was a God I ought not to be doubtful about the other things. At that time, the doubt as to immortality was leading me to disbelieve in Divinity. “I have always believed that I received this grace through the blessed Monseigneur of Geneva, because I had greatly desired, before his death, to communicate these troubles to him, and since then I have felt towards him a great devotion, and I have received through him many graces. At that time I had some matter about which I sought his advice, but I cannot now remember what it was. This happened on the feast of Pentecost, 1623, in the church of St Nicolas-des-Champs, during Mass.”
  9. 9. 1625-1633: A Time of Healing
  10. 10. Vincent & Louise: beginning a relationship •  1625: Mlle Le Gras meets Vincent de Paul. Recommended for her spiritual director by Bishop Camus after consulting with Francis de Sales. •  In the beginning – Louise continually searching for God’s will for her life; extremely concerned about her son Michel; a structured and rigid prayer style. •  1625-1628: Louise becomes more involved in preparing clothing or food for the poor. •  July 1628: Louise, in prayer, led to devote herself to the service of the poor
  11. 11. Learning to trust God The Word: Matthew 14:22-33; Luke 8:22-25
  12. 12. The mission begins •  May 16, 1629: Vincent sends Louise on mission to visit the Charity at Montmirail. •  1629: first establishment of the Confraternities in the city of Paris at Saint Sauveur •  1630: the arrival of Marguerite Nasseau and Marie Jolie •  November 16, 1630: failed coup d’etat by two of Louise’s uncles – one decapitated, the other dies in prison. Louise keenly feels this loss. •  1631: gentleman accuses Louise of having accepted his offer of marriage. •  1629-1633: visit and organized Charities outside Paris in summer and, in winter, established Charities in Paris
  13. 13. Marguerite Nasseau “Margaret Nasseau . . . was the first Sister who had the happiness of pointing out the road to our other Sisters, both in the education of young girls and in nursing the sick, although she had no other master or mistress but God. She was a poor, uneducated cow-herd. Moved by a powerful inspiration from Heaven, the idea occurred to her that she would instruct chldren and so she bought an alphabet but, as she could not got to school for instruction, she went and asked the parish priest or curate to tell her what were the first four letters of the alphabet…. Afterwards, while she minded her cows, she studied her lesson…. And so, little by little, she learned to read, and she then taught the other girls of her village…. She undertook all this without money or any other help save that of Divine Providence…. The harder she worked at teaching the children, the more the village folk laughed at and calumniated her…. When she learned that there was a Confraternity of Charity in Paris for the sick poor, she went there moved by a desire to be employed in this work…. This was indeed the will of God, for He intended her to be the first Daughter of Charity and servant of the sick poor….”
  14. 14. Coming to believe in self, God’s purpose & plan The Word: Luke 1:26-66 John 20:1-18
  15. 15. 1633-1660: Years of the Little Company
  16. 16. Founding the Daughters & Ladies of Charity •  May to October 1633: Vincent and Louise engage in dialogue and prayer about the possible founding of a new type of Confraternity •  November 29, 1633: Louise gathers the first 4 or 5 young women volunteers in her own rooms. •  March 25, 1634: Louise binds herself by vow to consecrate herself to the work of this Confraternity of the Daughters of Charity •  July 31, 1634: Vincent explains the Rules to the first 12 sisters – already 5 houses in Paris •  1634: The Ladies of Charity established as Confraternity •  1639: 16 houses of Daughters in Paris
  17. 17. The mission & troubles expand •  1640: Michel abandons the cassock •  March 25, 1642: first vows in Little Company of four sisters •  Pentecost Eve 1642: collapse of Motherhouse floor and increasing problems: fights between Sisters, tensions with pastors & bishops, death of Sisters due to plague. •  1645: Vincent submits to Louise the “Memorandum on the Establishment of the Daughters” – 30 to 40 houses of Daughters •  November 20, 1646: Erection of the Company of the Daughters of Charity as a Confraternity – this document was “lost” •  1647: crises with Michel and the community •  January 18, 1650: Michel marries Gabrielle Le Clerc
  18. 18. Learning to relax and “listen” The Word: Luke 10:38-42
  19. 19. Final approbation of the Daughters •  January 18, 1655: approbation of the Company of the Daughters of Charity by Cardinal de Retz – the term “Company” rather than “Congregation” safeguarded them against becoming enclosed as nuns: Company had 122 members at this time. •  August 8, 1655: acts of establishment of Daughter of Charity •  November 1657: Louis XIV approves the establishment of the Company •  December 16, 1658: registration by Parlement of Letters Patent of King •  March 15, 1660: Louise dies in Paris •  June 8, 1668: Papal approval of the Daughters of Charity, Servants of the Poor Sick •  1934: Canonization of St. Louise de Marillac
  20. 20. Vincent to the Daughters of Charity, August 24, 1659 “Your monastery and your house is that of the sick, your cell is a hired room. Your chapel is the parish church, where you should always assist at the divine sacrifice and give good example, always being present there to edify the people, yet not abandoning the necessary service of the sick. For cloister, the streets of the city, through which you walk in winter and in all sorts of weather to seek out the sick poor. For enclosure, obedienced. For a grille, the fear of God. For veil, holy modesty. I beg Our Lord to enlighten your minds, to inflame your wills that you may henceforth love nothing but him, in him, and for him.”
  21. 21. Peace & freedom in service The Word: Luke 7:36-50; John 13:1-17