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St. Louise: In Her Own Words

by | Apr 30, 2021 | Formation

Reading the letters of St. Louise helps us see her humanness, as opposed to thinking of her as some faraway Saint.

This video shows us a few samples from her letters. The text and additional information is provided below the video.

 

All quotes from Spiritual Writings of Louise de Marillac, Correspondence and Thoughts, Edited and Translated by Sr. Louise Sullivan, D.C.

TO MONSIEUR PORTAIL
at Marseilles
I do not know if you knew of the deaths of our dear Sisters Turgis,
the older Jeanne-Baptiste, Salomee, Renee from Angers, Marie
Despinal, Elisabeth Martin, who was at Nantes, and of our good Sister Madeleine who had been Sister Servant for so long, as well as of several others who entered our Company during your absence. I recommend all of them to your charity, but especially those still with us – several of whom are wavering in their vocation. Please pray also for all of us in general because we are not zealous or fervent enough and are much too affected by self-love. This makes me fear that we will soon become lax.
What do you think, Monsieur, of the fact that I am not afraid to
trouble you with this sad news?
Letter 247

To SISTER BARBE ANGIBOUST
Daughter of Charity, Servant of the Sick Poor at Bernay
I have no doubt but that your dear hearts beat in close union and that you share with one another what you are doing. If this were not so, my dear Sister, you would not experience the consolation that Our Lord promises to those who come together in His name, and in whose midst He is present. I believe, my dear Sister, that your mutual support causes you to feel the effects of divine consolation.
Letter 480

TO MY VERY DEAR SISTER FRANÇOISE MÉNAGE
Daughter of Charity, Servant of the Sick Poor at Nantes
We must await submissively the order of Divine Providence. We must always be in that state, open to accept the death of a loved one, our own death or any other painful event so that God, in the exercise of His divine will, will never have reason to complain that we have not followed His orders.
Letter 478

TO MY VERY DEAR SISTER ÉLISABETH (Élisabeth Brocard)
at Angers
We need great courage to overcome ourselves, although often the things we call trials are more imaginary than real. If we wish to please God, an excellent means is to bear patiently our trials and difficulties.
Letter 438

TO MONSlEUR VlNCENT
Thursday, January 14 (1644)
Monsieur,
So our good God wills you to be ill. May He be forever blessed!
However, He also wills that for His love, you manifest the same charity toward your body as you would toward the body of a poor person. If I dared, my Most Honored Father, I would go so far as to tell you that He absolutely wills you to do so. Profit then from this opportunity, I beg of you, and pardon the excessive liberty I take in speaking to you as one who is deeply concerned for the glory of God.
Letter 31

TO SISTER FRANÇOISE CARCIREUX
I believe that you work with one another to grow in perfection in keeping with the divine plan. All the actions of your lives can serve this purpose even those which might appear destined to withdraw you from that intimate union with God which you so ardently desire. Very often this union is established in us through no action of our own, in a manner known only to God and not as we would wish to imagine it.
Letter 531B

TO MONSIEUR L’ABBE DE VAUX
I will tell you quite simply that we must wait peacefully for grace to produce true humility in us by revealing our powerlessness to us. We are thereby led to recognize it and to accept willingly to endure what you call our little infirmities, pride and sensitivity, without any hope that they will be destroyed in us because we are and will be tossed about by such disturbances throughout our lives.
Letter 80

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