The Prayer: ''Most Holy Virgin, I believe and confess''

From Vincentian Encyclopedia

To Saint Louise de Marillac on the 351st anniversary of her death March 15th 1660

by: Antonio Orcajo, CM


[This article first appeared in Anales de la Congregación de la Misión y de las Hijas de la Caridad, volume 119, #2 March-April 2011, p. 208-220]

For the audio podcast version of this article, click here.

In 1960 while praying the Rosary with the Daughters of Charity in the former Colegio La Milagrosa in Leon, I heard for the first time this beautiful prayer in honor of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary: Most Holy Virgin, I believe and confess your holy and Immaculate Conception, pure and without stain; O most pure Virgin, through your virginal purity, your Immaculate conception, your glorious prerogative of Mother of God, obtain for me from your Divine Son humility, charity, great purity of heart, mind and body, holy perseverance in my dear vocation, the gift of prayer, a good life and a happy death. Amen . [1]

I recall my amazement as I listened to this prayer that was recited between the mysteries of the Rosary. That prayer sounded so beautiful and complete in its spiritual content and in the manner in which its content was expressed … a content and a form that has remained substantially unchanged except for some minor details which are found in the 1995 publication that appeared in English. Since 1960 I have had the opportunity to listen to this prayer recited by Daughters from many different countries throughout the world (this was especially true when I preached retreats for the Daughters).

It never occurred to me to investigate its origins, that is, the “why” and “when” the Daughters of Charity began to invoke the Virgin Mother of God and our Mother with the title of her immaculate conception. A further question arose: why did the Daughters use this type of prayer within the context of Rosary. It was during my research on Saint Vincent de Paul and his relationship with the Blessed Mother that I became curious to know the history of that prayer and who might have written it. I presumed that some Superior General, at the request of the Daughters, wrote this prayer sometime after Pope Pius IX defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception (1854). I discovered that I was very mistaken with regard to the date of the composition of this prayer … the Sisters informed me that this prayer began to be recited very soon after their establishment as a Company.

There is no doubt that our Founders, Vincent de Paul and Louise de Marillac, had an admirable devotion to the Immaculate Conception of Mary at a time when theologians were still disputing this extraordinary privilege that God had bestowed on Mary. In fact, in 1617 Pope Paul V prohibited those who were opposed to this doctrine from defending their position in public. Despite all this controversy Mademoiselle Le Gras repeatedly revealed, in word and in deed, her veneration of Mary Immaculate who had been enriched and adorned by God with many graces and privileges as a result of being chosen to be the Mother of God. More specifically, Louise viewed Mary’s Immaculate Conception as being inseparable from her divine motherhood (a mystery related to the action of the Blessed Trinity) as well as being inseparable from Mary’s role as co-redeemer and dispenser of all graces and the mystery of her Assumption into heaven.

Vincent and Louise embraced the doctrine that Francis de Sales, the Bishop of Geneva, expressed with regard to the Immaculate Virgin Mary. That doctrine was explained in his writings, Introduction to the Devout Life and Treatise on the Love of God whose introductory prayer is both pious and lyrical: Most holy Mother of God, vessel of incomparable election, Queen of sovereign dilection, thou art the most lovely, the most loving and most beloved of all creatures! The love of the heavenly Father found its good pleasure in thee from all eternity, destining thy chaste heart to the perfection of holy love, to the end that one day thou mightest love his only Son with unique motherly love … [2]

In the Vincentian Family much consideration was given to the example and the exhortations of the Founders who continually and publically professed their belief in and their love for Mary Immaculate. They asked Mary to intercede on behalf of the Congregations dedicated to evangelizing and to providing spiritual and material service to the poor. In the history of the Congregation of the Mission, the Daughters of Charity and the Confraternities of Charity we see that devotion to Mary Immaculate was introduced into these groups in August 1617. This involved various forms of sacrifice and a commitment to charity on behalf of the poor and the needy because when the Mother of God has been invoked and taken as patroness in important matters, everything can only go well and accrue to the glory of Jesus her Son [3]. .

History

The Daughters of Charity are accustomed to praying the Rosary every day (either privately or in common) and after each decade they recite the prayer: Most Holy Virgin. At the time of our Founders, the Rosary was composed of fifteen mysteries: five joyful, five sorrowful and five glorious. Today there are twenty mysteries which include the five luminous mysteries that were added by John Paul II. According to an account that we find in a letter that Louise wrote to Vincent (March 1646) we are told that Louise de Marillac liked to pray the little chaplet that was composed of twelve beads: The little chaplet is the devotion for which I asked permission of your Charity three years ago as a personal devotion. I have in a small box a quantity of these little chaplets, along with some thoughts on this devotion written on a piece of paper, which with your permission, I wish to leave to all our sisters after my death. Not one of them knows it. It honors the hidden life of Our Lord in his state of imprisonment in the womb of the Blessed Virgin and congratulates her on her happiness during those nine months. The three small beads hail her under her beautiful titles of Daughter of the Father, Mother of the Son, and Spouse of the Holy Spirit. That is the main thought behind the devotion. By the grace of God, unworthy as I am, I have continued this devotion since the time I mentioned, but 1 hope to discontinue it, aided by God's same grace, if your Charity so orders. By means of this little exercise I intend to ask God, through the Incarnation of His Son and the prayers of the Blessed Virgin, for the purity necessary for the Company of the Sisters of Charity and for the steadfastness of this Company in keeping with His good pleasure [4]. With those words Louise responded to her spiritual director who wanted to know about her practice of prayer.

Gifted with an exquisite feminine sensitivity Louise was unable to conceal her sentiments as a mother. Her son, Michel who caused her much suffering, led her to think about Mary as a mother of mercy and as a holy mother. At about the same time that she wrote to Vincent about her devotion to the little chaplet, she made her famous offering to the Virgin: Most Holy Virgin, deign to take my son and me into your care. Welcome the choice I make of you as our protectress. Accept my vows and my prayers as well as my heart which I give entirely to you so as to glorify God for the choice He made of you to be the Mother of His Son. Because of this divine action, your conception was immaculate since the Father applied to you the anticipated merit of the death of Jesus Christ (SWLM:695 [A.4]).

Louise ardently desired that all creatures pay homage to your greatness and look upon you as the sure means for reaching God. May they love you above all other pure creatures and render you the glory you deserve as the beloved Daughter of the Father, Mother of the Son and worthy Spouse of the Holy Spirit (SWLM:696 [A.4]).

When Vincent was informed about this practice of the little chaplet, he ordered his faithful collaborator in the various works of charity to suspend that devotional practice. This was done in an attempt to curb Louise’s tendency to take on more and more devotions. It must be stated, however, that Vincent, as he guided Louise in her words and actions, always wanted her to develop her interior life and her intimate union with God through the intercession of his Son Jesus Christ and in communion with the Holy Spirit. Louise spontaneously expressed her love as a woman and as a mother to Jesus and to Mary … she did this through the many prayers that welled up from the depths of her heart in such a natural and unforced manner. We recall here another devotion that she engaged in to honor the thirty-three years of Jesus’ earthly life (the recitation of thirty-three prayers). In 1630 Vincent wrote to Louise about that practice and stated: As for all those thirty-three acts to the holy humanity and the others, do not be distressed when you fail to do them. God is love and wants us to go to him through love. Therefore do not hold yourself bound to all those good resolutions (CCD:I:81).

Returning to the situation of Mademoiselle LeGras … it was with some sorrow (according to her own testimony) (cf. SWLM:351 [L.304]) that she ceased praying the little chaplet that had given her great interior satisfaction. She did this in obedience to her spiritual director who continued to orient her toward serving the poor. Nevertheless we must state that Louise’s biographers have delved into her devotion to the Immaculate Conception and have concluded that said devotion played a decisive role in the development of a spirituality that was centered on Christ and yet also related to Mariology. Louise’s “Marian” reflections are clearly Christ-centered and Christological [5].

Louise, convinced of God’s great love for his mother, wrote: We must, therefore, honor this holy Conception that made her so precious in the eyes of God, and believe that it depends only on us to receive the assistance of the Blessed Virgin in all our needs. This is so because it seems to me that it would be impossible for God to refuse her anything. His divine and loving glance never left her since she always lived according to His will. Therefore, we must be convinced that He is always ready to grant whatever she requests because she asks for nothing that is not for His glory and our good. We must carefully consider the advantages that the Blessed Virgin has enjoyed over all other creatures as a consequence of her Immaculate Conception (SWLM:828 [A.31B]).

A quick review of the history of the prayer, Most Holy Virgin, leads us to the superior general, Jean-Baptiste Étienne, who pointed out that this prayer was suggested by Saint Vincent de Paul [6]. Apart from Étienne’s statement, which is not substantiated by any proof, the oldest reference to this prayer that I had been able to find goes back to 1895 when a witness in the process of the beatification and the canonization of Louise stated: It is difficult for me to believe that the prayer that we have recited from time immemorial when we pray the rosary and that contains a true profession of faith and love to the Immaculate Conception is not a vestige of the rosary that Vincent (being attentive to the piety of our Mother) permitted Louise to pray … with regard to the prayer itself, despite many numerous inquiries, I have not been able to find this written down anywhere [7].

Until a short time ago I was convinced that the literary redaction of this beautiful prayer could be dated at the time that Father Étienne was superior general (1843-1874). I had presumed that he had requested a Missionary, at the behest of the Daughters, to compose this prayer and to base it on the thoughts and words of Louise de Marillac, especially the words expressed in her Oblation to the Blessed Virgin (Cf. SWLM:695-696 [A.4]). In addition to that personal oblation, consideration had to be given to the exquisite and inspired oblation of the Company of the Daughters of Charity to the Virgin: you have inspired us, Lord, to choose your Mother as the only Mother of our little Company [8].

I soon discovered that I was mistaken because Coste had been able to date the prayer to 1813, a time when the Vincentian Family was governed by the Vicar General, Dominique-François Hanon (1808-1816) … a time in which the Company of the Daughters of Charity was reestablished as the result of an Imperial Decree signed by Napoleon (November 1890). At that time Étienne had not yet entered the Congregation and in fact, he was not admitted into the Congregation until September 1820, which according to Coste would be seven years after the composition of the prayer in 1813.

Aside from some passing reference to this prayer I am not aware of any bibliography or any authors who have researched this matter. Sister Claire Herrmann, an archivist at the Motherhouse of the Daughters in Paris gave me a copy of a handwritten note which is signed by the historian, Pierre Coste [9]. The note is undated but it was most probably written in 1920 on the occasion of the beatification of Venerable Louise de Marillac. Even the biographies that have provided much detail about Louise’s life have not researched this matter. No one has been seriously interested in this matter so as to research it thoroughly. One person who has focused on this matter but has not given it the same importance that we have is Sister Alfonsa Richartz [10].

Coste’s reasoning could be stated in the following manner: We are in agreement on three points: [1] the prayer Most Holy Virgin was not written by Saint Vincent; [2] it was also not written by Mademoiselle Le Gras; [3] it was published for the first time in the prayer formulary of 1813.

Coste believes that the formulation of the prayer in 1813 is a reproduction of an older form of the prayer and offers the following proof: [1] M. Aladel wrote in 1842 that the prayer goes back to the origins of the Company; [2] If there had been some innovation in that regard, it would have been pointed out in some circular letter.

In light of all of this I would state: [1] the authority of one person is a fragile proof at best; such an argument is less valid when the person is far removed in time from the event that is being referred to. [2] Innovations were not only published in circular letters but were also made available in community books such as those that contained the rules of office or those that compiled the prayers of the Company.

Since there is no mention of this prayer before 1813, neither in written manuscripts nor in printed books, we cannot affirm that this prayer dates to a period before 1813. Any such affirmation would have to be supported with proof, with solid proof.

If we were to date the prayer in accord with Coste we would then have to resign ourselves to the fact that we do not know who redacted the prayer or when. We do know for certain that the first redaction that is preserved in the Archives of the Daughters of Charity in Paris goes back to the year 1826. This is later than the time given by Coste [11].

After having established the Marian principles that guided and grounded the spirituality of Saint Louise, Sister Alfonsa Richartz writes: For almost two centuries the Daughters of Charity have recited the prayer Most Holy Virgin at the end of each decade of the Rosary [11].

We have then the statement of the witness who spoke during the beatification/canonization process of Louise de Marillac: the prayer Most Holy Virgin has been recited from time immemorial when we pray the rosary and … is a vestige of the rosary that Vincent (being attentive to the piety of our Mother) permitted Louise to pray … There are many who say that this prayer goes back to the time of our Founders and so how do we respond to that statement? Could we not hypothesize that time immemorial is a reference to the time when Sister Mathurine Guérin was superior general of the Daughters (we say this even though we have no documentation that would support those words). Sister Guérin was one of the persons who copied St. Vincent’s conferences to the Daughters. She had been Louise’s secretary and was a good stylist. She had been appointed superior general four times: 1667-1673, 1676-1682, 1685-1691 and 1694-1697. She had a profound understanding of Louise’s psychology and spirituality, her thoughts and intimate sentiments. That being the case, she did not copy word for word what her teacher said, but used greater freedom in that regard.

Perhaps someday, not too far into the future we will be surprised to learn the exact date and the author of this most beautiful prayer that was certainly inspired by Saint Louise, but that was nonetheless redacted by another person. Our research is not in vain.

Commentary

An analysis of the prayer enables us to see that it is composed of two well-defined sections: the first section contains a double invocation or greeting and the second section is composed of seven petitions which should be viewed as a synthesis of the primary spiritual and apostolic concerns of Saint Louise and all the Daughters of Charity. The Sisters, in making this prayer their own, desire to render homage to the Immaculate Conception and also aspire to offer themselves, body and soul, to the Virgin Mary. In this way they imitate Louise de Marillac who in 1626 offered herself to the Mother of God. One year later, in 1627, Louise wrote about that event: O my God, why am I unable to reveal to the world the beauty which you have shown me as well as the dignity of the Blessed Virgin? Everything is comprised in her title of Mother of the Son of God. How admirable are her deeds! With good reason the Church addresses her as the Mother of Mercy because she is also the Mother of Grace (SWLM:775 [A.14B]).

The twofold invocation or greeting directed to Mary

The double invocation contained in the greeting, Most Holy Virgin … O most pure Virgin, echoes the greeting proclaimed by the angel to Mary at the time when she was told that she would be the Mother of God, Hail, favored one! … you have found favor with God. The recognition of Mary’s holiness and purity led Louise to continue her conversation with the Mother of God, a conversation that concluded with seven petitions address to the only Mother of the Company. Louise sought Mary’s intercession in order to obtain from her beloved Son the most urgent graces for herself and for all the members of the Company of the Daughters of Charity who, in the present or in the future, might join this group of women. As Louise meditated and reflected on God’s beloved Son, Jesus Christ, she made an act of faith and love before expressing her particular needs and the needs of the community.

After the greeting there is a profession of faith that the Sisters, in imitation of their Founder, make: they believe in their hearts and proclaim with their lips that Mary, anticipating the merits of the passion and death of Jesus, was conceived without original sin. Trusting in that glorious characteristic of the Mother of God and therefore, trusting in Mary’s maternal intercession, the Sisters request seven graces that they consider to be most urgent. The first three petitions refer to clothing themselves in the distinctive spirit of the Company since if they lack that spirit, then they lack everything. Perseverance in one’s vocation is most urgent since discouragement in serving those who are poor and problems in community life are often the cause for a Sister to leave the community. The gift of prayer responds to the constant need for assistance from God and intimacy with God in order that the Sisters might remain faithful and firm in their offering of self to God. A good life corresponds to the universal call from God to live a holy life that makes them irreproachable in their love for God and in their charity on behalf of the poor. Lastly, they request a happy death as the crown of their life of self-sacrifice and service … a gift that will make them a part of the mission of heaven, which is a mission of love that will last forever (CCD:XI:133).

As we have seen, the reasons for requesting those graces and blessings from God through the intercession of his Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, could not have been stated with any greater emotion than when Louise wrote: Most Holy Virgin, have pity on all souls redeemed by the Son of God, your Son, Jesus Christ. Offer to the Divine Justice your pure body which furnished the blood which He shed for our Redemption so that His merits may be applied to the souls of the dying and effect in them complete conversion. Procure for us, through your intercession, all that we need to give glory to God in the fullness of heavenly beatitude and to enjoy the blessedness which your dear presence imparts to the saints who are now with you in glory (SWLM:696 [A.4]).

. Seven primary requests

The Sisters begin this prayer with a united voice and request humility, a virtue that characterized the incarnate Son of God who lowered himself to become one like us in everything but sin. Humility is first among the virtues that constitute the spirit of the Daughters of Charity and enables the Sisters to see the truth concerning who they are and what they have. Louise, as she lifted up her voice to Mary, stated: May persons … honor your pure marriage by their submission to, their dependence upon, and their confidence in the Providence of God. May they imitate the limitless virtues which you practiced during the years of the hidden life of your Son, Jesus Christ, especially your great humility which made you ever open to the action of God in you and to your place in the divine plan (SWLM:695 [A.4])

The second petition refers to charity, the greatest of all virtues and the one virtue that explains the name of the Sisters and the purpose of the Company in the midst of the church and the world, namely, to serve and love Jesus Christ in the person of the poor and the infirm and to do so spiritually and materially, affectively and effectively. Louise was so clear about this reality that she lifted up her voice to Mary in order to express to her a need that is common to us all: the practice of charity that enables us to live with dignity as children of God and as spiritual children of Mary. When speaking about charity among the Sisters, a love that leads to intimate union, Louise stated: It seemed to me that in order to be faithful to God we must live in great union with one• another. Since the Holy Spirit is the union of the Father and the Son, the life which we have freely undertaken must be lived in this great union of hearts. This will prevent us from becoming annoyed by the actions of others and enable us to bear with one another and to live together with cordiality and gentleness (SWLM:768 [A.75]).

The third petition is common to those simple individuals who have placed their trust in the Lord, that is, those who make every effort to acquire a purity of heart, body and spirit. This virtue leads people to do everything (in thought, word and deed) in order to please God alone and not to please others who are frequently the friends of appearances and vanity. The simplicity that is requested here is none other than that which is referred to in the beatitudes where Jesus proclaims: blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God (Matthew 5:8). Louise had demonstrated and knew from experience that the Sisters who are truly simple would come to know in a special way the secrets of the kingdom and the secrets of charity.

The fourth petition has as its goal the grace to persevere in one’s vocation. During times of temptation and trial and tribulation, perseverance should be understood as fidelity to the commitments related to one’s vocation. As we previously indicated, this is most necessary when disinterested service on behalf of the poor becomes discouraging and a burden, when with each passing day community life becomes more difficult, and when we begin to feel overwhelmed by the deceitful manipulations of the world. In a letter dated July 1642, Louise encouraged Sister Madeleine Mongert with the following words: Be very courageous then in the distrust you must have for yourself. I say the same thing to all our dear sisters. I desire all of them to be filled with a great love which will immerse them so sweetly in God and so charitably in the service of the poor that their hearts will no longer have place for so many thoughts which endanger their perseverance. Courage then, my dear Sisters. Seek only to please God by faithfully observing His commandments and evangelical counsels because the goodness of God has deigned to call us to this (SWLM:75 [L.441]).

The fifth petition is a request that Mary might grant us the gift of prayer, a gift which she herself had received. The gospels tell us that Mary reflected on all the words that Jesus spoke and on all the activity that he engaged in (Luke 2:19-51). Furthermore, Louise was convinced that if the Sisters neglected prayer, the community would be dissolved because the members would then be lacking the nourishment necessary to sustain and develop their vocation. We are well aware of Louise’s thoughts and convictions with regard to prayer and so there is no need to refer to her words in order to understand her insistence on fidelity to prayer, both personal and community prayer.

The sixth petition refers to the saintly life that a Daughter of Charity should live. Without such a life her actions will convince no one and she will be unable to distinguish herself from other secular Christians. Her life will be superficial at best and it will be very clear that she did not internalize Jesus’ words: be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48). Louise viewed holiness as the acceptance of and the fulfillment of God’s plan which is grounded on the law of love, a law that is above all other laws: you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength (Mark 12:30).

A good death is the object of the seventh and final petition and that is intended as a crown to the holy life of a Daughter of Charity who dedicates her life to works of charity on behalf of those men and women who are poor. Like Saint Paul the Sisters “competed well” and “finished the race” and now hope to receive the crown of justice that will be bestowed on all those who have longed for the appearance of the Lord (2 Timothy 4:7-8). As far as everything else, well …. life is too short. Yet as Vincent de Paul has stated, life is a journey that leads us to eternity, to our mission in heaven.

Conclusion

In light of everything that we have said, we can now begin to understand the devotion of the Daughters of Charity to Mary Immaculate. This prayer has been put into music by Sister Carmen Pombo and gives a solemnity to praying the Rosary as well as other Marian liturgical and paraliturgical services. Even though I do not know this for certain, however it is most probable that this prayer has been put into music in other languages and thus the Sisters sing this hymn in honor of the Immaculate Conception.

Since the time of our Founders, both the Founder of the Congregation of the Mission as well as the Founder of the Company of the Daughters of Charity, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception has been celebrated with special fervor. Perhaps this is the reason why the community was blessed with the apparitions that occurred on the Rue du Bac (1830). Since 1852 the Superior General of the Daughters of Charity has written a circular letter on the occasion of the celebration of the feast of the Immaculate Conception. In that letter the Sisters are exhorted to love and to imitate Mary. The annual act of consecration reminds us todays of all those acts that Louise offered to God (October 17, 1644) in the Cathedral of Chartes asking [God] to destroy it [the Company] rather then let it be established contrary to his holy will (SWLM:122 [L.111]).

Footnotes:

[1] Community Prayer Book, Daughters of Charity of the United States, St. Joseph’s Provincial House, 333 South Seton Avenue, Emmitsburg, Maryland, 21727, Revised 1995, p. 8.

[2] Francis de Sales, Treatise on the Love of God, httpweb1.desales.eduassetssalesianPDFlove.pdf

[3] VINCENT DE PAUL, Correspondence, Conferences, Documents, translators: Helen Marie Law, DC (Vol. 1), Marie Poole, DC (Vol. 1-14), James King, CM (Vol. 1-2), Francis Germovnik, CM (Vol. 1-8, 13a-13b [Latin]), Esther Cavanagh, DC (Vol. 2), Ann Mary Dougherty, DC (Vol. 12); Evelyne Franc, DC (Vol. 13a-13b), Thomas Davitt, CM (Vol. 13a-13b [Latin]), Glennon E. Figge, CM (Vol. 13a-13b [Latin]), John G. Nugent, CM (Vol. 13a-13b [Latin]), Andrew Spellman, CM (Vol. 13a-13b [Latin]); edited: Jacqueline Kilar, DC (Vol. 1-2), Marie Poole, DC (Vol. 2-14), Julia Denton, DC [editor-in-chief] (Vol. 3-10, 13a-13b), Paule Freeburg, DC (Vol. 3), Mirian Hamway, DC (Vol. 3), Elinor Hartman, DC (Vol. 4-10, 13a-13b), Ellen Van Zandt, DC (Vol. 9-13b), Ann Mary Dougherty (Vol. 11, 12 and 14); annotated: John W. Carven, CM (Vol. 1-14); New City Press, Brooklyn and Hyde Park, 1985-2014; volume XIIIb, p. 3; future references to this work will be inserted into the text using the initials [CCD] followed by the volume number, followed by the page number, foe example, CCD:XIIIb:3.

[4] LOUISE DE MARILLAC, Spiritual Writings of Louise de Marillac, Edited and Translated from the French by Sister Louise Sullivan, DC, New City Press, Brooklyn, New York, 1991, p. 140. Future references to this work will be inserted into the text using the initials [SWLM] followed by the page number, followed by the number of the letter or the number of the writing and/or manuscript, for example, SWLM:140 [L.301b].

[5] Charpy, E. Un camino de santidad, Luisa de Marillac, Compañía de las Hijas de la Caridad (Translation: Centro Internacional de Traducción de la Casa Madre), Paris (s.a.) 
 

[6] Cf. Cour complet de Méditations àl’usage des Filles de la Charité, Tome troisiéme, Paris 1864, 8 décembre, féte de l’Immaculée Conception de Marie, p. 722.

[7] Cf. Positio super Introductione Causaw Beatificationis et Canonizationis Servae Dei Ludovicae de Marillac, Viudae Le Gras, Confundatricis Puellarum Chariatis. Rome 1895, p. 146-147.

[8] The Oblation of the Company of the Daughters of Charity to the Virgin can be seen in its entirety in La Vida de la Señorita Le Gras, M. Gobillon, Spanish edition, CEME, Salamanca, 1991, pp. 246-248. Translator’s note: I thought I had a complete English edition of this work and discovered that my edition contains only 70 pages.

[9] This document was photocopied at the Motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity in Paris and given to me by Sister Ángeles Infante, DC. I must also thank Sister Antonia Sánchez, DC for others documents that were sent to me from Paris.

[10] Cf. Richartz, A., Louise de Marillac, 1591-1660, Condé-sur-Noireau, 2010, 00. 185-199.

[11] In reality, we can view a prinited copy of this prayer in 1826, in the book of Prayer that was extracted from the Formulario para uso de las Hijas de la Caridad, a book that was brought to light during the time that Sister Catherine Amblard (1820-1887) was superior general and Father Claude Boujard (1819-1827) was Vicar General. In the Italian edition, Formolario di preghiere e pratiche di pieta ad uso delle Figlie della Carità, Torino 1904, there is a note at the end of the prayer that reads: His Holiness Leo XIII grants an indulgence of 100 days through a rescript of July 8, 1888 to pray this prayer once a day.

[12] Richartz, A,op.cit., p. 197.


Translated by: Charles T. Plock, CM