St. Louise de Marillac
By Charla Misse
I was raised attending St. Joseph Catholic Church on Tulane Avenue in New Orleans run by Vincentians. No matter how long it’s been since I’ve revisited, the vastness of this church and the sacred treasures within always welcome me home; I am again a child being nurtured.
Given that I had been formed beneath the images of many Vincentian saints, it was very special for me to travel as a young adult to Paris where I was blessed with the opportunity to venerate the remains of three significant Vincentian saints: St. Vincent de Paul, St. Louise de Marillac and St. Catherine Laboure. On this spontaneous trip 20 years ago, made possibly by what could only be providential design, I prayed, one day, to be a mother while visiting the Shrine of the Miraculous Medal.
Ten years later, when I was married, this prayer was answered. It was ten more years, however, before I realized that St. Louise de Marillac had adopted me as one of her spiritual children and had been praying for me since I was a child.
St. Louise was a devoted wife and mother before she became the co-founder of The Daughters of Charity and a servant of the poor.
In gratitude for her intercession and guidance, I would simply like to share with other parents a quote of hers:
“Our Lord, in his wondrous providence, allows children to break the hearts of devout fathers and mothers. Thus, the decisions your children have made don’t make you a failure as a parent in God’s eyes. You are entitled to feel sorrow, but not necessarily guilt. Do not cease praying for your children; God’s grace can touch a hardened heart.
“Commend your children to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. When parents pray the rosary, at the end of each decade, they should hold the rosary aloft and say to her: With these beads, bind my children to your Immaculate Heart! She will attend to their souls” – St. Louise de Marillac.