Today is the feast of Saint Louise de Marillac.
Louise was born out of wedlock to French nobility in the year 1591.
At age 12, with both of her parents now dead, she came under the influence of a close family friend with whom she studied the art of household management and herbal medicines.
At 22, despite feeling the urge to join religious life, she was arranged to marry Antoine Le Gras.
10 years into her marriage, Compounded with her husband’s illness, Louise felt conflicted that she missed out on her religious vocation.
At age 32 she was delivered from this suffering. On the feast of Pentecost she wrote, “. I was advised that I should remain with my husband and that the time would come when I would be in the position to make vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.”
Her husband died just a few years later and not long after she moved near Monsignor Vincent de Paul. Under the guidance of Monsignor de Paul, Louise redoubled her efforts in serving the poor and ill peasants.
With Vincent she founded the Daughters of Charity. At the time of death, more than 40 houses of formation for the Daughters of Charity were founded all across France.
Louise de Marillac is the patron of sick people and social workers.