Louise, Letter 0103. To Monsieur l’Abbé de Vaux

Francisco Javier Fernández ChentoWritings of Louise de MarillacLeave a Comment

Author: Louise de Marillac · Translator: Louise Sullivan, D.C. · Year of first publication: 1991 · Source: Spiritual Writings of Louise de Marillac. Correspondence and Thoughts. Translated from the original French edition Sainte Louise de Marillac: Ecrits Spirituels.
Estimated Reading Time:

Feast of Saint Lawrence (August 10, 1640)


You were unaware that when I am employed for some good work the faults that I commit in carrying it out invariably bring down upon it some sign of the justice of God to prove to me that I accomplish nothing worthwhile. It is I, therefore, who am the cause of the murmuring in these little establishments. I ask your pardon for the trouble this has occasioned for you, but, Monsieur, can you not satisfy His Excellency, your Bishop, with the reason that your Charity gave me concerning the proposal that I made to him to look into the matter; namely, that since the hospital did not seem to be as completely dependent upon him as it perhaps should be, it was not appropriate for him to authorize this action?

I know nothing at all about this establishment for penitent women except what you have told me which, it seems to me, is that they are simply a group of women gathered together in a house. I do not know if they are cloistered. Permit me to say that I am astonished that your Charity has not been to see them so that this little difficulty would not worsen. Our good God would express His displeasure about this, for what can be accomplished without you? What would we have done without your guidance? It is God who gave it to us, may He be blessed!

Am I to be told nothing about the visit of Monsieur Lambert?1 From Sister Turgis’ letter it appears that it did them no harm. I see that she is unaware that there is any thought of recalling her. I believe that that is just as well. She spoke to me about five or six girls. However, Monsieur, it is very important to know them and to accept them with the understanding that we can dismiss them. I beg you to take the trouble of interviewing them to discover their motivation. Try to find out if the constant chatter of the one about whom you wrote to me is not due to the frivolity and habits she contracted in the household where she worked. This attitude would certainly not be suitable for us. We accept no one if there is the slightest suspicion that she has fallen. This is certainly too important for all the daughters.

I was somewhat annoyed that you were accommodated so promptly by the person2 who procured the works of Monsieur de Marillac for you. I had no idea that his letters had been published. Please let me know, Monsieur, the name of the publisher.

Please let me tell you that my heart was touched when I heard that

you had thought of giving back to God the charge which He had perhaps given to you. Oh, it seems to me, Monsieur, that there is much good to accomplish both for yourself and for the neighbor. Although 1 am unworthy, I shall not fail to offer my humble prayers to God for this intention.

I cannot tell you how pleased I was to hear that your sister is in Paris. I hope to have the honor of seeing her, but I asked her to wait until after her lawsuit is settled. Then I will remind her that she promised me that she would spend a few days at our little hermitage where she can see Monsieur Vincent.

I thank you most humbly, Monsieur, for the information concerning our sisters which you gave to Monsieur Lambert. I believe that it was absolutely necessary. 1 hope that our good sister from Richelieu3 will do very well if God permits her to go to Angers. She is a prudent woman who is not upset by rumors and who does not give rise to them. She is also very virtuous. We had thought of her from the very beginning. I beg God to reveal His holy will to you in this matter. It is in this holy will, Monsieur, that I remain your very humble daughter and servant.

P.S. The reverend administrators are saying nothing more about the articles of the contract. It will be something else. I beg you, Monsieur, to let me know your thoughts on the matter. I believe that it will be well if the sisters do not know if Sister Turgis is to be dismissed until just a few days ahead of time.

  1. Monsieur Lambert had just made the visitation.
  2. It was a question of Michel Le Gras, Louise de Marillac’s son.
  3. Barbe Angiboust, see Letter 43; the Founders thought many times of sending her to Angers (Coste II, 18 and 67).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *