Louise de Marillac: Virgin Mary Cares of this World

by | Nov 11, 2016 | Formation, Reflections

“I gaze upon you today, most pure Virgin Mother of Grace, since it was you who not only provided the matter for the formation of the sacred body of your Son, at a time when you were not as yet actually a mother, but by bringing Him into the world, you have become both Mother of God and Mother of the Man who at His birth brought a new law to the world, the law which alone leads to eternal life.

You are the Mother of the Law of Grace because you are the Mother of Grace incarnate. […] What love and service must I not render to you for having brought the God of the Law of Grace into this world. I shall manifest my gratitude to you by the praise I offer, by my zeal in helping others to recognize your greatness, and by renewed devotion and trust in your powerful intercession with God.”

Louise de Marillac, To the Virgin Mary (A 14b)



  1. Saint Louise lives the devotion to Mary without the intensity with which she lives the devotion to God. In fact, that was kind of the piety that most Catholics lived in the seventeenth-century France, influenced by Protestantism that did not believe in the Virgin Mary as intercessor before God. That is why, although Saint Louise loves Mary and prays to her, she does not bequeath her devotion as an inheritance to her daughters. But she declared her Mother of the Company.
  2. And Mary accepted to be Mother of the Company, because she is Mother of all mankind. On the night of July 18-19, 1830, an angel woke up Saint Catherine Labouré asking her to go down to the chapel; there, she talked with the Virgin for more than two hours. That night, Mary, with her eyes bathed in tears, announced her the misfortunes that are going to fall on the world and the remedies to avoid it. The remedy was given on November 27 in another apparition, holding in his hands, at the height of her heart, a globe representing the world. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Fr. Aladel coined that image with his arms outstretched, in a Miraculous medal.
  3. Frederic Ozanam wore the medal when he founded the Conferences of St. Vincent de Paul in 1833, and in 1834 he wrote a review of a work relating the first account of the apparitions to St. Catherine. Interested in the role that the Miraculous Medal played in the conversion of Alphonse Marie Ratisbonne in 1842, he spread the news inside and outside the Society. On February 4, 1834, the Conferences were placed under the protection of the Virgin Mary.
  4. Mary promised Saint Catherine that, whoever carries the Medal with faith, will have her protection. And Saint Louise said that impurity and disunity prevent the earth to be the Kingdom of God. The temptation of impurity, of which no one, nor herself, is free, especially the youth, must be warned to the young people of VMY. On the other hand, harmony and union, in imitation of the Trinity, is the first quality that is demanded of every human group, beginning with the carnal family and friends, not forgetting the Vincentian Family, even if there is a diversity of characters.

Questions for dialogue:

  1. Do you carry the Miraculous Medal? With faith?
  2. Do you spread it in your family and among friends? Are you embarrassed to do it?
  3. Do you strive to put unity and harmony in your family? And in the Vincentian Family?

Benito Martínez, C.M.