Louise, Letter 0006. To Monsieur Vincent

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.
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December 1636


Madame de Beaufort1 told me that this is the opportune time to work for the establishment of the Confraternity of Charity of the parish of Saint-Etienne. She added that the Pastor strongly favors this and authorized her and another Lady to take up a collection during the present feast days, which they did. I beg you most humbly, Monsieur, to take the trouble to inform me how I should act in this matter.

I had thought of telling her, if you approve, that the Ladies who show the greatest desire for this holy work should go to the Pastor and tell him that, in order to begin well and to persevere, they need to gather together a large number of persons, both from the nobility and from the lower class, so that some of them will contribute most of the funds while the others will give themselves more willingly to visit the sick poor on their appointed days. So that no one will be inconvenienced, it will be suggested that it would perhaps be well to divide the parish into two districts. However, in order to work efficaciously, the first thing that must be done is to ask the Pastor to have a detailed report drawn up by an ecclesiastic who knows the parishioners well and then to have a sermon preached on this subject in his church after which all the Ladies named would be assembled. An announcement would also be made at Mass inviting all women, of whatever class, who would like to participate in the work, to come to the Assembly. At the Assembly, the Rule observed in other parishes would be proposed.

I am telling you all this, Monsieur, so as to save time. These good women have been trying to encourage one another to undertake this work for so long, that I feel we must strike while the iron is hot. However, please tell me if you want something different from what I propose. Please, you know it must be like that.

1 thank you most humbly, Monsieur, for your charity. God knows well that I needed this help and He sent the address of a good milkmaid who has been supplying us for three days.

Here we are at the end of the year. If God gives me the life to begin another, I want it to be profitable for His service. I beg your Charity to say a few words to me about this. The poor are satisfied with little. I will consider myself most fortunate since I gave myself to God through you, and I am, Monsieur, your very humble daughter and servant.

P.S. Monsieur, all your daughters take the liberty of recommending themselves to your charity.

  1. Madame de Beaufort, Lady of Charity of the Parish of Saint-Etienne-du-Mont.

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