St. Louise de Marillac

Important Dates

1591

Birth, 12 August, in or near Paris. The identity of her mother is unknown; her father was a widower at the time of her birth. Educated at the Dominican Convent at Poissy, where she had an aunt.

1595

Remarriage of her father to Antoinette Le Camus in January. Louise’s stepmother never accepted her husband’s illegitimate daughter into the family

1604

Death of her father, Louis de Marillac, 25 July

c. 1604

Transferred to a “pension” or a boarding home to learn domestic skills

1613

Marriage to Antoine LeGras, secretary to the Queen, Marie de Medicis, 5 February; birth of son Michel Antoine, 18 October.

1619

Francis de Sales meets Louise and provides great consolation and support to her.

1622

Antoine, Louise’s husband becomes ill

1623

Made vow of widowhood, 4 May. Pentecost experience: La Lumiere, 4 June, which became a pivotal point in her spiritual development.

c. 1623-24

Beginning of spiritual direction by Vincent de Paul

1625

Death of husband, 21 December

1629

Louise sent on her first mission by Vincent de Paul to the Confraternity of Charity at Montmirail

1632

Death of Michel de Marillac, Louise’s uncle and guardian

1633

Foundation along with Vincent de Paul of the Company of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, 29 November

1634

Establishment of the Ladies of Charity at the Hotel Dieu of Paris

1638

Establishment of the Daughters of Charity at Richelieu, the first successful mission outside of Paris.

1639

Healthcare ministry begins at the Hospital of St. Jean at Angers by the Daughters of Charity

1640

Ministry to the galley slaves and prisoners begins by the Daughters of Charity

1641

Ministry of education begins by the Daughters of Charity

1642

Vows made for the first time by Louise and others

1646

Approbation of the Confraternity of the Daughters of Charity by Jean Fran�ois de Gondi, coadjutor of the Bishop of Paris; the Confraternity is made dependent upon the bishops, 20 November.

1650

Son Michel marries Gabrielle Le Clerc, 18 January

1651

Birth of Renee-Louise LeGras, grand-daughter of Louise

1652

Sending of the first Daughters of Charity beyond France into Poland at Warsaw

1655

Act of Establishment of the Company of the Daughters of Charity, 8 August. First election of Officers. Approbation of the Company of the Daughters of Charity by cardinal de Retz, Archbishop of Paris. The superior general of the Priests of the Mission is recognized as the superior of the Daughters of Charity.

1660

Death, 15 March

1911

Pope Pius X issued the Decree of Heroicity of Virtues of Louise de Marillac, widow Le Gras, co-foundress of the Daughters of Charity, 19 July.

1920

Pope Benedict XV beatified Louise de Marillac, 9 May.

1934

Pope Pius XI presided at the solemnity of canonization, 11 March

1960

Pope John XXIII commemorated the Third Centenary of the death of Saint Louise de Marillac, by declaring her “Patron of Christian Social Workers,” 10 February.