Feast of Saint Louise De Marillac
Gospel: (Matthew 25: 31-46)
The King will say to those on his right hand, “ Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me…I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it to me.”
Louise de Marillac, (1591-1660), married Antoine LeGras and they had a son whom they named Michel, but at the age of 34 she became a widow. Vincent de Paul became her spiritual director and under his guidance she began caring for the poor and visiting the Confraternities of Charity. Vincent and Louise co-founded the Company of the Daughters of Charity, and dedicated them to serve the poor with humility, simplicity and charity. In 1960, Pope John XXIII proclaimed Louise the patron saint of all Christian social workers.
“Above all, be very gentle and courteous toward your poor. You know that they are our masters and that we much love them tenderly and respect them deeply. It is not enough for these maxims to be in our minds; we must bear witness to them by our gentle and charitable care.”-St. Louise de Marillac- (Gibson and Kneaves, Praying with Louise, p. 72)
Discussion: (Share your thoughts after a moment of silence)
Share the ways that you see the poor being served today in the spirit of Louise-in gentleness… loving them tenderly and respecting them deeply?
Compassionate Christ, Louise ministered to the needs of your people,
-give us courage to walk in her footsteps.
Suffering played a painful part in Louise’s growth in holiness,
-give us eyes of faith to see Your presence in our suffering.
Louise’s heart was fashioned through her friendship with Vincent,
-give us friends whose love transforms our hearts to love you more.
You inspired Louise with a great love for the poor and the abandoned,
-grant us the grace to serve those whose lives touch ours with the same spirit of love and courage.
May the Vincentian Family continue to grow and multiply throughout the world,
-so that the poor will know God’s love in a tangible way. Amen