Sr. Elisabeth Charpy, DC shares her lifetime of insights in the life of St. Louise. Sr. Elisabeth is accepted as perhaps the foremost researcher on the life of Louise and anyone reading this translation of Sr. Charpy’s biography of Louise will quickly realize why.

From the introduction….

“History speaks admirably about the great saint of charity. His prominence and importance has endured to the present century. Do we not say that those who incarnate the virtue of charity in the midst of the forgotten members of society and in the midst of those who die alone … do we not say that those individuals are a modern embodiment of Vincent de Paul.

Why is it that history seems to ignore the humble and discreet collaborator of Saint Vincent de Paul?

  • Is it because this collaborator is a woman?
  • Is it that she was the niece of Michele de Marillac who was the Keeper of the Seals in Richelieu’s cabinet and who attempted to overthrow the established order which resulted in the “Day of the Dupes?
  • Is it that she was an illegitimate child? For a rather extended period of time the Church held such children in contempt, visible signs of their parents’ sin.

Louise was not canonized until the twentieth century, almost three hundred years after she had died.

Yet without Louise

  • Would the Daughters of Charity (frequently referred to as the Sisters of Saint Vincent de Paul) have come into existence?
  • Without Louise would the abandoned children have experienced love or received an education?
  • Would the galley slaves and the infirm have experienced the compassionate hands that assisted them during their difficult times?

Without Louise would Vincent de Paul have become the popular saint that he is?

Louise de Marillac was born on August 12, 1591. For thirty-five years she would remain at Vincent’s side, sharing the same love for God and for the poor. On March 15, 1660 Louise died, a few months before the death of the humble peasant from Landes.”


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