Thursday, March 21, 2013

Friday, March 15, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog: Contemplation, Wisdom 2:1-22, Psalms 145:6-18, John 7:1-30, Pope Frances Daily Address, St Louise de Marillac, Hôtel-Dieu de Paris, Daughters of St Vincent de Paul, Catholic Catechism Part One Section 2 The Creeds Chapter 3:11:2 Dying in Jesus Christ

Friday, March 15, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog:

Contemplation, Wisdom 2:1-22, Psalms 145:6-18, John 7:1-30, Pope Frances Daily Address, St Louise de Marillac, Hôtel-Dieu de Paris, Daughters of St Vincent de Paul, Catholic Catechism Part One Section 2 The Creeds Chapter 3:11:2 Dying in Jesus Christ

Good Day Bloggers!  Wishing everyone a Blessed Week!

Year of Faith - October 11, 2012 - November 24, 2013

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

The world begins and ends everyday for someone.  We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift of knowledge and free will, make the most of these gifts. Life on earth is a stepping stone to our eternal home in Heaven. Its your choice whether to rise towards eternal light or lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to Purgatory and/or Heaven is our Soul, our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


Prayers for Today: Friday in Lent


 Papam Franciscus
(Pope Francis)

Clementine Hall
Friday, 15 March 2013

Dear Brother Cardinals,
The period of the conclave has been a momentous time not only for the College of Cardinals, but also for all the faithful. In these days we have felt almost tangibly the affection and the solidarity of the universal Church, as well as the concern of so many people who, even if they do not share our faith, look to the Church and the Holy See with respect and admiration. From every corner of the earth fervent prayers have been offered up by the Christian people for the new Pope, and my first encounter with the thronging crowd in Saint Peter's Square was deeply moving. With that evocative image of the people gathered in joyful prayer still impressed on my memory, I want to express my sincere thanks to the bishops, priests, consecrated persons, young people, families, and the elderly for their spiritual closeness, so touching and so deeply felt.

I want to express my sincere and profound gratitude to all of you, my dear venerable brother Cardinals, for your ready cooperation in the task of leading the Church during the period of the Sede Vacante. I greet each one of you warmly, beginning with the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, whom I thank for his devoted words and his fervent good wishes addressed to me on behalf of all of you. I also thank Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Camerlengo of Holy Roman Church, for his attentive service during this transitional period, as well as our dear friend Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, who led us during the conclave: thank you very much! My thoughts turn with particular affection to the Cardinals who, on account of age or ill health, made their contribution and expressed their love for the Church by offering up their sufferings and their prayers. And I should tell you that the day before yesterday, Cardinal Mejia had a heart attack and was taken to the Pio XI Hospital. But they think his condition is stable, and he has sent us his greetings.

Nor can I omit to thank all those who carried out various tasks in the preparation and the conduct of the conclave, providing the Cardinals with security and peace of mind in this period of such importance for the life of the Church.

My thoughts turn with great affection and profound gratitude to my venerable Predecessor Benedict XVI, who enriched and invigorated the Church during the years of his Pontificate by his teaching, his goodness, his leadership, his faith, his humility and his meekness. All this remains as a spiritual patrimony for us all. The Petrine ministry, lived with total dedication, found in him a wise and humble exponent, his gaze always firmly on Christ, the risen Christ, present and alive in the Eucharist. We will always accompany him with fervent prayers, with constant remembrance, with undying and affectionate gratitude. We feel that Benedict XVI has kindled a flame deep within our hearts: a flame that will continue to burn because it will be fed by his prayers, which continue to sustain the Church on her spiritual and missionary path.

Dear brother Cardinals, this meeting of ours is intended to be, as it were, a prolongation of the intense ecclesial communion we have experienced during this period. Inspired by a profound sense of responsibility and supported by a great love for Christ and for the Church, we have prayed together, fraternally sharing our feelings, our experiences and reflections. In this atmosphere of great warmth we have come to know one another better in a climate of mutual openness; and this is good, because we are brothers. Someone said to me: the Cardinals are the priests of the Holy Father. That community, that friendship, that closeness will do us all good. And our acquaintance and mutual openness have helped us to be docile to the action of the Holy Spirit. He, the Paraclete, is the ultimate source of every initiative and manifestation of faith. It is a curious thing: it makes me think of this. The Paraclete creates all the differences among the Churches, almost as if he were an Apostle of Babel. But on the other hand, it is he who creates unity from these differences, not in "equality", but in harmony. I remember the Father of the Church who described him thus: "Ipse harmonia est". The Paraclete, who gives different charisms to each of us, unites us in this community of the Church, that worships the Father, the Son, and Him, the Holy Spirit.

On the basis of the authentic affective collegiality that unites the College of Cardinals, I express my desire to serve the Gospel with renewed love, helping the Church to become increasingly, in Christ and with Christ, the fruitful vine of the Lord. Inspired also by the celebration of the Year of Faith, all of us together, pastors and members of the faithful, will strive to respond faithfully to the Church's perennial mission: to bring Jesus Christ to mankind and to lead mankind to an encounter with Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life, truly present in the Church and also in every person. This meeting leads us to become new men in the mystery of Grace, kindling in the spirit that Christian joy that is the hundredfold given by Christ to those who welcome him into their lives.

As Pope Benedict XVI reminded us so many times in his teachings, and at the end by his courageous and humble gesture, it is Christ who leads the Church through his Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church through his life-giving and unifying force: out of many, he makes one single body, the Mystical Body of Christ. Let us never yield to pessimism, to that bitterness that the devil offers us every day; let us not yield to pessimism or discouragement: let us be quite certain that the Holy Spirit bestows upon the Church, with his powerful breath, the courage to persevere and also to seek new methods of evangelization, so as to bring to Gospel to the uttermost ends of the earth (cf. Acts 1:8). Christian truth is attractive and persuasive because it responds to the profound need of human life, proclaiming convincingly that Christ is the one Saviour of the whole man and of all men. This proclamation remains as valid today as it was at the origin of Christianity, when the first great missionary expansion of the Gospel took place.

Dear brother Cardinals, take courage! Half of us are advanced in age. Old age is – as I like to say – the seat of life's wisdom. The old have acquired the wisdom that comes from having journeyed through life, like the old man Simeon, the old prophetess Anna in the Temple. And that wisdom enabled them to recognize Jesus. Let us pass on this wisdom to the young: like good wine that improves with age, let us give life's wisdom to the young. I am reminded of a German poet who said of old age: Es is ruhig, das Alter, und fromm: it is a time of tranquillity and prayer. And also a time to pass on this wisdom to the young. You will now return to your respective sees to continue your ministry, enriched by the experience of these days, so full of faith and ecclesial communion. This unique and incomparable experience has enabled us to grasp deeply all the beauty of the Church, which is a glimpse of the radiance of the risen Christ: one day we will gaze upon that beautiful face of the risen Christ!

I entrust my ministry and your ministry to the powerful intercession of Mary, our Mother, Mother of the Church. Under her maternal gaze, may each one of you continue gladly along your path, attentive to the voice of her divine Son, strengthening your unity, persevering in your common prayer and bearing witness to the true faith in the constant presence of the Lord. With these sentiments, which I really mean, I impart a heartfelt Apostolic Blessing, which I extend to your co-workers and to all those entrusted to your pastoral care.


  • Vatican News. From the Pope. © Copyright 2013 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Accessed 3/15/2013.


March 2, 2013 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:
“Dear children; Anew, in a motherly way, I am calling you not to be of a hard heart. Do not shut your eyes to the warnings which the Heavenly Father sends to you out of love. Do you love Him above all else? Do you repent for having often forgotten that the Heavenly Father, out of His great love, sent His Son to redeem us by the Cross? Do you repent for not having accepted the message? My children, do not resist the love of my Son. Do not resist hope and peace. Along with your prayers and fasting, by His Cross, my Son will cast away the darkness that wants to surround you and come to rule over you. He will give you the strength for a new life. Living it according to my Son, you will be a blessing and a hope to all those sinners who wander in the darkness of sin. My children, keep vigil. I, as a mother, am keeping vigil with you. I am especially praying and watching over those whom my Son called to be light-bearers and carriers of hope for you – for your shepherds. Thank you.”

February 25, 2013 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:
“Dear children! Also today I call you to prayer. Sin is pulling you towards worldly things and I have come to lead you towards holiness and the things of God, but you are struggling and spending your energies in the battle with the good and the evil that are in you. Therefore, little children, pray, pray, pray until prayer becomes a joy for you and your life will become a simple walk towards God. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

 February 2, 2013 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:
"Dear children, love is bringing me to you - the love which I desire to teach you also - real love; the love which my Son showed you when He died on the Cross out of love for you; the love which is always ready to forgive and to ask for forgiveness. How great is your love? My motherly heart is sorrowful as it searches for love in your hearts. You are not ready to submit your will to God's will out of love. You cannot help me to have those who have not come to know God's love to come to know it, because you do not have real love. Consecrate your hearts to me and I will lead you. I will teach you to forgive, to love your enemies and to live according to my Son. Do not be afraid for yourselves. In afflictions my Son does not forget those who love. I will be beside you. I will implore the Heavenly Father for the light of eternal truth and love to illuminate you. Pray for your shepherds so that through your fasting and prayer they can lead you in love. Thank you."



Today's Word:  contemplation  con·tem·pla·tion  [kon-tuhm-pley-shuhn]

Origin: 1175–1225;  < Latin contemplātiōn-  (stem of contemplātiō ); see contemplate, -ion; replacing Middle English contemplaci ( o ) un  < Anglo-French  < Latin,  as above
1. the act of contemplating; thoughtful observation.
2. full or deep consideration; reflection: religious contemplation.
3. purpose or intention.
4. prospect or expectation.


Today's Old Testament Reading -  Psalms 145:8-9, 13-14, 17-18

8 Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger, full of faithful love.
9 Yahweh is generous to all, his tenderness embraces all his creatures.
13 Your kingship is a kingship for ever, your reign lasts from age to age. Yahweh is trustworthy in all his words, and upright in all his deeds.
14 Yahweh supports all who stumble, lifts up those who are bowed down.
17 Upright in all that he does, Yahweh acts only in faithful love.
18 He is close to all who call upon him, all who call on him from the heart.


Today's Epistle -  Wisdom 2:1, 12-22

1 And this is the false argument they use, 'Our life is short and dreary, there is no remedy when our end comes, no one is known to have come back from Hades.
12 Let us lay traps for the upright man, since he annoys us and opposes our way of life, reproaches us for our sins against the Law, and accuses us of sins against our upbringing.
13 He claims to have knowledge of God, and calls himself a child of the Lord.
14 We see him as a reproof to our way of thinking, the very sight of him weighs our spirits down;
15 for his kind of life is not like other people's, and his ways are quite different.
16 In his opinion we are counterfeit; he avoids our ways as he would filth; he proclaims the final end of the upright as blessed and boasts of having God for his father.
17 Let us see if what he says is true, and test him to see what sort of end he will have.
18 For if the upright man is God's son, God will help him and rescue him from the clutches of his enemies.
19 Let us test him with cruelty and with torture, and thus explore this gentleness of his and put his patience to the test.
20 Let us condemn him to a shameful death since God will rescue him -- or so he claims.'
21 This is the way they reason, but they are misled, since their malice makes them blind.
22 They do not know the hidden things of God, they do not hope for the reward of holiness, they do not believe in a reward for blameless souls.


Today's Gospel Reading - John 7: 1-30

After this Jesus traveled round Galilee; he could not travel round Judaea, because the Jews were seeking to kill him.  As the Jewish feast of Shelters drew near, his brothers had left for the festival, he went up as well, not publicly but secretly.  Meanwhile some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, 'Isn't this the man they want to kill? And here he is, speaking openly, and they have nothing to say to him! Can it be true the authorities have recognized that he is the Christ? Yet we all know where he comes from, but when the Christ appears no one will know where he comes from.' Then, as Jesus was teaching in the Temple, he cried out: You know me and you know where I came from. Yet I have not come of my own accord: but he who sent me is true; You do not know him, but I know him because I have my being from him and it was he who sent me. They wanted to arrest him then, but because his hour had not yet come no one laid a hand on him. 

• Throughout the chapters from 1 to 12 of the Gospel of John, one discovers the progressive revelation which Jesus makes of himself to the disciples and to the people. At the same time and in the same proportion, the closing up and the opposition of the authority against Jesus increases, up to the point of deciding to condemn him to death (Jn 11, 45-54). Chapter 7, on which we are meditating in today’s Gospel, is a type of evaluation in the middle of the journey. It helps to foresee what will be the implication at the end.
• John 7, 1-2.10: Jesus decides to go to the feast of the Tabernacles in Jerusalem. The geography of the life of Jesus in the Gospel of John is different from the geography in the other three Gospels. It is more complete. According to the other Gospels, Jesus went only once to Jerusalem, the time when he was taken and condemned to death. According to the Gospel of John he went there at least two or three times to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. This is why we know that the public life of Jesus lasted approximately three years. Today’s Gospel informs us that Jesus directed himself more than once to Jerusalem, but not publicly; hidden because in Judah the Jews wanted to kill him.

• In this chapter 7 as well as in the other chapters, John speaks about the “Jews” and of “you Jews”, as if he and Jesus were not Jews. This way of speaking shows the situation of a tragic breaking which took place at the end of the first century between the Jews (Synagogue) and the Christians (Ecclesia). Throughout the centuries, this way of speaking in the Gospel of John contributes to make anti-Semitism grow. Today, it is very important to keep away from this type of polemics so as not to foster anti-Semitism. We can never forget that Jesus is a Jew. He was born a Jew, lives as a Jew and dies as a Jew. He received all his formation from the Jewish religion and culture.

• John 7, 25-27: Doubts of the people of Jerusalem regarding Jesus. Jesus is in Jerusalem and he speaks publicly to those who want to listen to him. People remain confused. They know that the authorities want to kill Jesus and he does not hide from them. Would it be that the authorities have come to believe in him and recognize that he is the Messiah? But how could Jesus be the Messiah? Everybody knows that he comes from Nazareth, but nobody knows the origin of the Messiah, from where he comes.

• John 7, 28-29: Clarification on the part of Jesus. Jesus speaks about his origin. “You know me and you know where I come from”. But what people do not know is the vocation and the mission which Jesus received from God. He did not come on his own accord, but like any prophet he has come to obey a vocation, which is the secret of his life. ”Yet, I have not come of my own accord but he who sent me is true, and you do not know him. But I know him, because I have my being from him and it was he who sent me”.

• John 7, 30: His hour had not yet come. They wanted to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, “because his hour had not yet come”. In John’s Gospel the one who determines the hour and the events which will take place are not those who have the power, but it is Jesus. He is the one who determines the hour (cf. Jn 2, 4; 4, 23; 8, 20; 12.23.27; 13, 1; 17, 1). Even up to the time when he was nailed to the Cross, it is Jesus who determines the hour of his death (Jn 19, 29-30). 

 Personal questions
• How do I live my relationship with the Jews? Have I discovered sometimes some anti Semitism in me? Have I succeeded in eliminating it?
• Like in the time of Jesus, today also, there are many new ideas and opinions on things which refer to faith. What do I do? Am I attached firmly to the old ideas and close myself up in them, or do I try to understand the why, the reason for the novelty?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  Saint Louise de Marillac

Feast DayMarch 15

Patron Saint:  disappointing children, loss of parents, people rejected by religious orders, sick people, social workers, Vincentian Service Corps, widows

Attributes: widows clothing

Saint Louise de Marillac
Saint Louise de Marillac, D.C., (August 12, 1591 - March 15, 1660) was the co-founder, with St. Vincent de Paul, of the Daughters of Charity. She is venerated as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.

Louise de Marillac was born out of wedlock on August 12, 1591 near Le Meux,[1] in the Department of Oise, in the Picardy region of France. She never knew her mother. Louis de Marillac, Lord of Ferri res,[2] claimed her as his natural daughter yet not his legal heir. Louis was a member of the prominent de Marillac family and was a widower at the time of Louise’s birth. His brother, Michel de Marillac, was a major figure in the court of Queen Marie de' Medici and, though Louise was not a member of the Queen’s court, she lived and worked among the French aristocracy. Thus Louise grew up amid the affluent society of Paris, but without a stable home life. When her father married his new wife, Antoinette Le Camus, she refused to accept Louise as part of their family. Nevertheless, Louise was cared for and received an excellent education at the royal monastery of Poissy near Paris, where her aunt was a Dominican nun.

Louise was schooled among the country’s elite and was introduced to the arts and humanities as well as to a deep spiritual life. She remained at Poissy until her father’s death when she was twelve years old. Louise then stayed with a good, devout spinster, from whom she learned household management skills as well as the secrets of herbal medicine.[3] Around the age of fifteen, Louise felt drawn to the cloistered life. She later made application to the Capuchin nuns in Paris, but she was refused admission. It is not clear if her refusal was due to her continual poor health or other reasons, but her spiritual director’s prophetic response to her application was that God had “other plans” for her.

Devastated by this refusal, Louise was at a loss as to the next step in her spiritual development. By twenty-two years of age, her family had convinced her that marriage was the best alternative. Her uncle arranged for her to marry Antoine Le Gras, secretary to Queen Marie. Antoine was an ambitious young man who seemed destined for great accomplishments. Louise and Antoine were wed in the fashionable Church of St. Gervaise on February 5, 1617. A year later, the couple had their only child, Michel. Louise grew to truly love Antoine and was an attentive mother to their son. Along with being devoted to her family, Louise was also active in ministry in her parish. She held a leadership role in the Ladies of Charity, an organization of wealthy women dedicated to assisting persons oppressed by poverty and disease.[3] Around 1621, Antoine contracted a chronic illness and eventually became bedridden. Louise nursed and cared for him and their child. However, depression caused her to question her continuing as a wife and a mother. Louise was fortunate to have a wise and sympathetic counselor, St. Francis de Sales, who was then in Paris,[2] and then his friend, the Bishop of Belley, France. [4]

As a mystic

St. Louise de Marillac
Aided by her directors, young Louise had entered into profound prayer in the tradition of the Rhenish-Flemish spiritualists or the abstract mystics. She had been initiated in the spirituality of Pierre de Bérulle (a French cardinal and mystic) and as a result entered into mysticism. Even though Louise was living what today might be called a Vincentian spirituality (a result of the influence of Francis de Sales and her encounter with the poor) Louise was aware of the Rhenish-Flemish spirituality because she had experienced it.

The Incarnation of the Son of God became the center upon which Louise’s theology and spirituality rested. In this manner Louise, like Duns Scotus, viewed the Incarnation as the moment in which men and women were saved. In the seventeenth century in France there was discussion about the condemnation of Quietism. For this reason, from the time of Louise’s death, mysticism was viewed with suspicion and a mystical woman was seen as suspect. In light of this, her biographer, Nicholas Gobillon, removed any traces of mysticism from Louise’s writings and rewrote her meditations. [5]

During civil unrest, her two uncles who held high rank within the government were imprisoned. One was publicly executed and the other died in prison. In 1623, when illness was wasting Antoine (who died in 1625), depression was overcoming Louise [3] She suffered for years with internal doubt and guilt at having not pursued the religious calling she had felt as a young woman, and she prayed for resolution. In 1623, at the age of 32, she wrote, "On the feast of Pentecost during Holy Mass or while I was praying in the church, my mind was completely freed of all doubt. I was advised that I should remain with my husband and that the time would come when I would be in the position to make vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and that I would be in a small community where others would do the same." She continued, “I felt that it was God who was teaching me these things and that, believing there is a God; I should not doubt the rest.” She vowed not to remarry should her husband die before her.[2] Louise also received insight that she would be guided to a new spiritual director whose face she was shown. When she came to meet Vincent de Paul, she recognized him as the priest from her vision.[3]

Three years after this experience, Antoine died. She now focused intently on her own spiritual development. Being a woman of great energy, intelligence, determination and devotion, Louise wrote her own "Rule of Life in the World" which detailed a structure for her day. Time was set aside for reciting the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, attending Mass, receiving Holy Communion, meditation, spiritual reading, fasting, penance, reciting the rosary and special prayers. Still, Louise managed to find time to maintain her household, entertain guests and nurture Michel, her 13-year old son, with special needs. Throughout all this activity, Louise realized she needed guidance and a tempering of her intensity and drive. This was to come from her relationship with Vincent de Paul.

Louise de Marillac and Vincent de Paul

St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac
Louise de Marillac and Vincent de Paul met around the time of Antoine's passing in 1625. Widowed and lacking financial means, she had to move. Vincent de Paul lived near her new dwelling.[6] At first he was reluctant to be her confessor, busy as he was with his "Confraternities of Charity." Members were aristocratic ladies of charity who were helping him nurse the poor and look after neglected children, a real need of the day. But the ladies were busy with many of their own concerns and duties. His work needed many more helpers, especially ones who were peasants themselves and therefore close to the poor. He also needed someone who could teach and organize them.[4]

Over the next four years, Vincent and Louise communicated often through letters and personal meetings, with Vincent guiding Louise to greater balance in a life of moderation, peace and calm. In 1629, Vincent invited Louise to get involved in his work with the Confraternities of Charity. She found great success in these endeavors. Then, in 1632, Louise made a spiritual retreat seeking inner guidance regarding her next step. Her intuition led her to understand that it was time to intensify her ministry with poor and needy persons, while still maintaining a deep spiritual life. Louise, at age 42, drawn to focus on mission, communicated this aspiration to Monsieur Vincent. By the end of 1633, he too had received the guidance needed for them to bring the Daughters of Charity into existence.

Company of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul

Until 1964, the traditional religious habit included a large, starched cornette.
In 17th-century France, the charitable care of the poor was completely unorganized. Many underprivileged people were victims of non-existent care or poor hospital conditions. The Ladies of Charity, founded by Vincent years earlier, provided some care and monetary resources, but this wasn’t enough. For, though the wealthy Ladies of Charity had the funds to aid poor people, they did not have the time or temperament to live a life of service among the poor. Vincent and Louise realized that the direct service of poor persons was not easy for the ladies of nobility or of the bourgeoisie. It was difficult to overcome the barriers of social class. These women took meals, distributed clothing and gave care and comfort. They visited the slums dressed in beautiful dresses next to people they considered to be peasants. The tension between the ideal of service and social constraints was real. The families of the ladies were not always favorable to these works.[6] It soon became clear that many of the ladies were unfitted to cope with the actual conditions. The practical work of nursing the poor in their own homes, caring for neglected children and dealing with often rough husbands and fathers, was best accomplished by women of similar social status to the principal sufferers. The aristocratic ladies were better suited to the equally necessary work of raising money and dealing with correspondence.[7]

The need of organization in work for the poor suggested to de Paul the forming of a confraternity among the women of his parish in Châtillon-les-Dombes. It was so successful that it spread from the rural districts to Paris, where noble ladies often found it hard to give personal care to the needs of the poor. The majority sent their servants to minister to those in need, but often the work was considered unimportant. Vincent de Paul remedied this by referring young women who inquired about serving persons in need to go to Paris and devote themselves to this ministry under the direction of the Ladies of Charity. These young girls formed the nucleus of the Daughters of Charity.

Louise found the help she needed in young, humble country women who had the energy and the proper attitude to deal with people weighed down by destitution and suffering. She began working with a group of them and saw a need for common life and formation. Consequently, she invited four of these country girls to live in her home in the Rue des Fosses‐Saint‐Victor and began training them to care for those in need.[8] She also taught them how to deepen their spiritual life. "Love the poor and honor them as you would honor Christ Himself," Louise explained. This was the foundation of the Company of the Daughters of Charity, who received official approbation in 1655.

At first the Company served the needs of the sick and poor in their homes. Louise's work with these young women developed into a system of pastoral care at the Hôtel-Dieu, the oldest and largest hospital in Paris. Their work became well known and the Daughters were invited to Angers to take over management of the nursing services of the hospital there.[8] This was the first ministry outside Paris for the fledgling community, so Louise herself made the arduous journey there in the company of three Sisters. After completing negotiations with the city officials and the hospital managers, Louise instituted collaboration among the doctors, nurses and others to form a comprehensive team. This model was highly successful and is still in use today by the Daughters of Charity. Under the guidance of Louise de Marillac, the Daughters expanded their scope of service to include orphanages, institutions for the elderly and mentally ill, prisons, and the battlefield. This mobility was a major innovation in an era when consecrated women remained in the monastery.[6] The Daughters of Charity were unlike the established religious communities at that time. Up to this point, all religious women were behind cloister walls and performed a ministry of contemplative prayer.[9]

Their distinctive habit, a grey wool tunic with a large headdress or cornette of white linen, was the usual dress of Breton peasant women of the 17th century and later.[7]

In working with her Sisters, Louise emphasized a balanced life, as Vincent de Paul had taught her. It was the integration of contemplation and activity that made Louise's work so successful. She wrote near the end of her life, "Certainly it is the great secret of the spiritual life to abandon to God all that we love by abandoning ourselves to all that He wills."

Louise led the Company of Daughters until her death. A present-day observer might surmise that Vincent de Paul was the heart of the Daughters of Charity, while Louise was the head. This isn’t quite true, for Louise had a big heart, too. However, this statement is made to give tribute to Louise’s strong intellect, organizational skills and her ability to get things accomplished. Louise was positive and exuberant in her energy, always urging her Sisters to do more and do it well. But along with the activity, she also modeled love. Nearing her death, she wrote to her Sisters: “Take good care of the service of the poor. Above all, live together in great union and cordiality, loving one another in imitation of the union and life of our Lord. Pray earnestly to the Blessed Virgin, that she might be your only Mother.”

Death and Veneration

St Louise de Marillac, incorruptible
After increasingly ill health, Louise de Marillac died on March 15, 1660, six months before the death of her dear friend and mentor, Vincent de Paul.[8] She was 68 years of age. By the time of her death, the Daughters of Charity had more than 40 houses in France. Her Sisters have always been held in high repute and have made foundations in all parts of the world.[7]

 Louise de Marillac was beatified by Pope Benedict XV in 1920 and, on March 11, 1934, she was canonized by Pope Pius XI. Her feast day is March 15.

To this day, her remains are enshrined in the chapel of the motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity at 140 rue du Bac, in Paris, France.  She was declared Patroness of Christian Social Workers by Pope John XXIII in 1960.[4]

Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
140 rue du Bac also houses The Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal is more commonly referred to by its address, 140 rue du Bac, or simply the street on which it is situated, rue du Bac.

In 1813 the construction of a chapel began in the Hôtel de Châtillon. On August 6, 1815 the solemn benediction of the chapel was dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was attributed by imperial decree to the Daughters of Charity. In 1830 Saint Catherine Labouré, then 24, received three visits from the Blessed Virgin Mary, "in flesh and bones," she will say, to request the creation of a medal with the following invocation: "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee." From May 1832 onwards the medal, which is extraordinarily disseminated and is said to convert, protect and perform miracles, is called miraculous by the faithful.  In 1849 the chapel is expanded and in the following years it will know many other transformations. Since 1930, the date of its complete renovation, the chapel is as we know it today.

Only the tabernacle, which dates back to the seventeenth or eighteenth century, is unchanged since 1815; it comes from the building allocated in 1800 to the Daughters of Charity. It was then to be found in the chapel of the Sisters of Mercy installed there before the French Revolution. Saint Catherine Labouré said that it is in front of the tabernacle that the Blessed Virgin Mary prostrated in the night of July 18 to July 19, 1830 and above it that she was during the third apparition in December 1830. In 1850 an ivory crucifix was placed on top of it.

The chapel, as a site of Marian apparition, is a Marian shrine and hence a site of heavy Roman Catholic pilgrimage. In addition to the incorruptible body of St. Louise de Marillac, the incorruptible bodies of Saint Catherine Labouré and Saint Vincent de Paul, founder of the Sisters of Charity, are kept there.


  1. ^ Saints.SQPN
  2. ^ a b c Glass, Joseph. "Ven. Louise de Marillac Le Gras." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 9 Jan. 2013
  3. ^ a b c d "Louise de Marillac", Vincentian Online Library
  4. ^ a b c Foley O.F.M., Leonard, Saint of the Day (rev. Pat McCloskey O.F.M.), American Catholic
  5. ^ Betanzos, CM, Benito Martinez, "Saint Louise de Marillac, a mystic", Santa Luisa de Marillac, ayer y hoy, XXXIV Semana de Estudios Vicencianos, [Saint Vincent de Paul, Yesterday and Today, XXXIV Vincentian Studies Week, Editorial CEME, Santa Marta de Tormes, Salamanca, 2010]
  6. ^ a b c Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul international website
  7. ^ a b c "Louise de Marillac", Oxford Dictionary of Saints
  8. ^ a b c Randolph, Bartholomew. "Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 9 Jan. 2013
  9. ^ "History of the Daughters of Charity" West Central Province, St. Louis, MO


    Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane



    Today's Snippet I:   Hôtel-Dieu de Paris

    Hôtel-Dieu de Paris
    The Hôtel-Dieu de Paris is regarded as the oldest hospital in the city of Paris, France, and is the most central of the Assistance publique - hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP) hospitals. 

    The hospital is linked to the Faculté de Médecine Paris-Descartes. It still resides on the left bank of the Île de la Cité, next to Notre-Dame where the facility was originally built between the 7th and 17th centuries, with two buildings being linked by the pont au Double. 

    Although the facility has been ravaged by disastrous fires on several occasions, the hospital remains in existence today (the current architecture dates back to 1877). As a symbol of charity and hospitality, it was the first hospital in Paris until the Renaissance.


    The Hôtel-Dieu was founded by Saint Landry in 651,[1] and is considered to be the first hospital in the city.[2]  The history of Parisian hospitals dates from the Middle Ages. Poverty was widespread during that period, and the Hôtel-Dieu became an opportunity for many of the bourgeois and nobility to make reparation for their sins (i.e. wrongdoing) by coming to its aid. Their efforts allowed the construction of the Hôpital de la Charité, which linked piety and medical care. Like many hospitals of that era, it started as a general institution catering for the poor and sick, offering food and shelter in addition to medical care.[1][3] The creation of the Hôtel-Dieu continued this tradition of charity up until the 19th century, despite being called into question during the centuries which followed.

    In the 16th century the Hôtel-Dieu faced a financial crisis, as it was only financed by help, subsidies or privileges. This brought about the creation in 1505 of a council of laymen governors:[2] the Presidents of Parliament, the Chambre des Comptes, the Cour des Aides and the Prévôt des Marchands. The state progressively intervened, firstly by the intermediary of the Lieutenant Général de Police, member of the Bureau de l’Hôtel-Dieu de Paris (Bureau for the Hôtel-Dieu in Paris) in 1690, then by the intermediary of Jacques Necker, who created the roles of Inspecteur général des hôpitaux civils et des maisons de force (General Inspector for civil hospitals and jails) and Commissaire du roi pour tout ce qui a trait aux hôpitaux (Royal Commissioner for all that relates to hospitals).

    During this period, the image of the poor changed. They became socially dangerous, because they were marginal. In order to control them, the 17th century elite brandished moral arguments to create establishments allowing them to confine the poor. The hospital therefore became a place of confinement, allowing them to clean up the urban world at the same time. Hospitals thus took the name of "Hôpital Général" (General hospital) or "Hôpital d'enfermement" (Asylum), of which the Hôtel-Dieu was one.

    In parallel to her husband's work on the management of hospitals, Madame Necker progressively modified the symbolism of hospitals: from charity to benevolence. In addition, the ideas advocated by the Siècle des Lumières allowed reflection on hospitals. However it was not until the end of the 18th century that hospitals became a "curing machine", where the patient is treated and leaves cured. It was nevertheless not until the 19th century that hospitals became a place of practicing medicine and science, but also, a place for teaching and medical research.

    In 1772 a fire destroyed a large part of the Hôtel-Dieu which was not rebuilt until the reign of Napoléon.[1] Other designs were built and numerous modifications made.

    In 1801, the Parisian hospitals adopted a new administrative framework: the Conseil général des hôpitaux et hospices civils de Paris (General Council for Parisian hospitals and civil hospices). This willingness to improve management brought about the creation of new services: the Bureau d'admission (Admissions office) and the Pharmacie centrale (Central Pharmacy).

    Secondly, during this period, the Hôtel-Dieu advocated the practice of vaccination. The Duc de La Rochefoucauld-Liancourt was a fervent supporter of this. Similarly, the discoveries of René-Théophile-Hyacinthe Laennec permitted the refinement of methods of diagnosis, osculation, and aetiology of illnesses.

    Faced with this development of medicine, the Hôtel-Dieu was unable to cope. It was for this reason that new Parisian hospitals appeared, each specialising in one or several clinical specialties. The Hôpital Saint-Louis became a large centre for the study and treatment of dermatology and the Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière became a centre for the study and treatment of the central nervous system and geriatrics. Progressively, each hospital developed its own centre of paediatrics.

    It was not until 1908 that the Augustinian nuns left the Hôtel-Dieu for good.

    Role within the Parisian healthcare system

    The Hôtel-Dieu is the top casualty centre to deal with emergency cases, being the only emergency centre for the first nine arrondissements and being the local centre for the first four.[1][4]

    For the last 50 years has been home to the diabetes and endocrine illnesses clinical department. It deals almost exclusively with the screening, treatment and prevention of the complications associated with diabetes mellitus. It is also a referral service for hypoglycemia. Oriented towards informating the patient (therapeutic education) and technological innovation, it offers a large choice of care facilities for all levels of complications. It is also at the forefront of research in diabetes in areas such as new insulins and new drugs, effects of nutrition, external and implanted pumps, glucose sensors and artificial pancreas.

    More recently, a major department for ophthalmology (emergencies, surgery and research) has been developed at the Hôtel-Dieu, under the supervision of Yves Pouliquen.

    Notable figures

    Notable physicians, researchers, and surgeons who practised at the hospital include Forlenze, Bichat, Dupuytren, Hartmann, Desault, Récamier, Cholmen, Dieulafoy, Trousseau, Ambroise Paré, Marc Tiffeneau, among other notable figures


    1. ^ Leo Steinberg, Michelangelo’s Last Paintings: The Conversion of St. Paul and the Crucifixion of St. Peter in the Cappella Paolina, Vatican Palace (New York: Oxford University Press, 1975), 15-16.
    2. ^ D. Redig de Campos, Michelangelo: The Frescoes of the Pauline Chapel in the Vatican (Milan: Art Editions Amilcare Pizzi, 1951), 6.
    3. ^ Leo Steinberg, Michelangelo’s Last Paintings: The Conversion of St Paul and the Crucifixion of St. Peter in the Cappella Paolina, Vatican Palace (New York: Oxford University Press, 1975), 17.


    Today's Snippet II:  Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul

    Daughters of Charity by Armand Gautier (1825–1894)
    The Company of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul (Latin: Societas Filiarum Caritatis a S. Vincentio de Paulo), called in English the Daughters of Charity or Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent De Paul is a Society of Apostolic Life for women within the Catholic Church. Its members make annual vows throughout their life, which leaves them always free to leave, without need of ecclesiastical permission. They were founded in 1633 and are devoted to serving Jesus Christ in persons who are poor through corporal and spiritual works of mercy.

    They have been popularly known in France as "the Grey Sisters" from the colour of their traditional religious habit, which was originally grey, then bluish grey. The 1996 publication The Vincentian Family Tree presents an overview of related communities from a genealogical perspective.[1] They use the initials D.C.
    after their names.


    The institute was founded by Saint Vincent de Paul, a French priest, and Saint Louise de Marillac, a widow. The need of organization in work for the poor suggested to de Paul the forming of a confraternity among the women of his parish in Châtillon-les-Dombes. It was so successful that it spread from the rural districts to Paris, where noble ladies often found it hard to give personal care to the needs of the poor. The majority sent their servants to minister to those in need, but often the work was considered unimportant. Vincent de Paul remedied this by referring young women who inquired about serving persons in need to go to Paris and devote themselves to this ministry under the direction of the Ladies of Charity. These young girls formed the nucleus of the Daughters of Charity now spread over the world. On 29 November 1633, de Marillac began a more systematic training of the women, particularly for the care of the sick. The sisters lived in community in order to better develop the spiritual life and thus, more effectively, carry out their mission of service in a Christ-like manner. From the beginning, the community motto was: "The charity of Christ impels us!"

    Louise de Marillac and Vincent de Paul both died in 1660, and by this time there were more than forty houses of the Daughters of Charity in France, and the sick poor were cared for in their own dwellings in twenty-six parishes in Paris.

    Anticlerical forces in the French Revolution were determined toshut down all convents. In 1789 France had 426 houses; the sisters numbered about 6000 in Europe. In 1792, the sisters were ordered to quit the motherhouse; the community was officially disbanded in 1793. However the order was restored in 1801, many former sisters returned, and it grew very rapidly throughout the 19th century.


    A Daughter of Charity shown with the distinctive head gear, Ireland, 1964.
    From that time and through the 19th century, the community spread to Austria, Australia, Hungary, Ireland, Portugal, Turkey, Britain and the Americas. During this period, the ministry of the Daughters developed to caring for others in need such as orphans and those with physical disabilities. Worldwide in 1907 there were 25,000 members.

    The first house in Britain was opened in Drogheda, Ireland, in 1855. By 1907 there were 46 houses and 407 sisters in England; 13 houses and 134 sisters in Ireland; 8 houses and 62 sisters in Scotland. They operated 23 orphanages, 23; 7 industrial schools; 24 public elementary schools; 1 normal school to train teachers; 3 homes for working girls or women ex-convicts; and 8 hospitals, as well as 35 soup-kitchens. Worldwide in 1907 there were 25,000 members.[2]

    The motherhouse of the Daughters of Charity is located at 140 rue du Bac, in Paris, France. The remains of de Marillac and those of St. Catherine Labouré lie preserved in the chapel of the motherhouse. Labouré was the Daughter of Charity to whom, in 1830, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared, commissioning her to spread devotion to the Medal of Mary Immaculate, commonly called the Miraculous Medal.

    The traditional habit of the Daughters of Charity was one of the most conspicuous of Catholic Sisters, as it included a large starched cornette on the head.[3] The institute adopted a more simple modern dress and blue veil on 20 September 1964.

    United States

    In the United States, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, a recent convert to the Catholic Church, had hoped to establish a community of Daughters of Charity. Unable to do so because of the political situation during the Napoleonic Wars, on 31 July 1809, she founded the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph at Emmitsburg, Maryland, basing her institute on the Rule of the Daughters of Charity. About fifty years later, the community in Emmitsburg was accepted as the first American province of the Daughters of Charity. By then, other communities had been established elsewhere in the United States. These remained independent.

    During the Spanish-American War of 1898, medical conditions in the war zone Roy dangerous factor. The United States government called for women to volunteer as nurses. Thousands did so, but few were professionally trained. Among the latter were 250 Catholic nurses, most of them from the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. Reverend Mother Mariana Flynn, head of the Daughters of Charity, recalled their service during the Civil War and said her sisters were proud to be "back in the army again, caring for our sick and wounded." [4]


    Many hospitals, orphanages, and educational institutions were established and operated by the Daughters of Charity over the years, including Saint Joseph College, Emmitsburg, Maryland, Marillac College in Missouri, Santa Isabel College in Manila, Saint Louise's Comprehensive College in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Saint Louise de Marillac High School in Illinois. Though no longer staffed and run by the Daughters, five of the hospitals which were founded by them in the USA continue to operate within the St. Vincent's Health Care System.[5]

    In Mayagüez, Puerto Rico they help run the Asilo De Pobres.[6]

    In the United Kingdom, the Daughters of Charity are based at Mill Hill, north London, and have registered charity status.[7]

    The Daughters operate St. Ann's Infant and Maternity Home near Washington, D.C.[8]


    1. ^ McNeil, Betty Ann (1996). The Vincentian Family Tree: A Genealogical Study. Chicago: Vincentian Studies Institute.
    2. ^ B. Randolph, "Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul," Catholic Encyclopedia (1913) online
    3. ^ Traditional habit of the Daughters of Charity
    4. ^ Mercedes Graf, "Band Of Angels: Sister Nurses in the Spanish-American War," Prologue (2002) 34#3 pp 196-209. online
    5. ^ STVHS
    6. ^
    8. ^ St. Ann's Infant and Maternity Home website - Mission

    Further reading

    • Susan E. Dinan, Women and Poor Relief in Seventeenth-Century France. The Early History of the Daughters of Charity (Ashgate, 2006)


    Catechism of the Catholic Church

    Part One: Profession of Faith, Sect 2 The Creeds, Ch 3:11:2



    II. Dying in Christ Jesus
    1005 To rise with Christ, we must die with Christ: we must "be away from the body and at home with the Lord."2 Cor 5:8 In that "departure" which is death the soul is separated from the body.Phil 1:23 It will be reunited with the body on the day of resurrection of the dead.Paul VI, CPG # 28

    1006 "It is in regard to death that man's condition is most shrouded in doubt."GS 18 In a sense bodily death is natural, but for faith it is in fact "the wages of sin." Rom 6:23 For those who die in Christ's grace it is a participation in the death of the Lord, so that they can also share his Resurrection.Rom 6:3-9

    1007 Death is the end of earthly life. Our lives are measured by time, in the course of which we change, grow old and, as with all living beings on earth, death seems like the normal end of life. That aspect of death lends urgency to our lives: remembering our mortality helps us realize that we have only a limited time in which to bring our lives to fulfillment:
    Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, . . . before the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.Eccl 12:1, 7

    1008 Death is a consequence of sin. the Church's Magisterium, as authentic interpreter of the affirmations of Scripture and Tradition, teaches that death entered the world on account of man's sin.Gen 2:17 Even though man's nature is mortal God had destined him not to die. Death was therefore contrary to the plans of God the Creator and entered the world as a consequence of sin.Wis 2:23-24 "Bodily death, from which man would have been immune had he not sinned" is thus "the last enemy" of man left to be conquered.GS 18 # 2

    1009 Death is transformed by Christ. Jesus, the Son of God, also himself suffered the death that is part of the human condition. Yet, despite his anguish as he faced death, he accepted it in an act of complete and free submission to his Father's will.Mk 14:33-34 The obedience of Jesus has transformed the curse of death into a blessing.Rom 5:19-21

    The meaning of Christian death
    1010 Because of Christ, Christian death has a positive meaning: "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Phil 1:21 "The saying is sure: if we have died with him, we will also live with him.2 Tim 2:11 What is essentially new about Christian death is this: through Baptism, the Christian has already "died with Christ" sacramentally, in order to live a new life; and if we die in Christ's grace, physical death completes this "dying with Christ" and so completes our incorporation into him in his redeeming act:

    It is better for me to die in (eis) Christ Jesus than to reign over the ends of the earth. Him it is I seek - who died for us. Him it is I desire - who rose for us. I am on the point of giving birth .... Let me receive pure light; when I shall have arrived there, then shall I be a man.St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Rom., 6, 1-2: Apostolic Fathers, II/2, 217-220

    1011 In death, God calls man to himself. Therefore the Christian can experience a desire for death like St. Paul's: "My desire is to depart and be with Christ. " Phil 1:23 He can transform his own death into an act of obedience and love towards the Father, after the example of Christ:Lk 23:46

    My earthly desire has been crucified; . . . there is living water in me, water that murmurs and says within me: Come to the Father.St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Rom., 6, 1- 2: Apostolic Fathers, II/2, 223-224
    I want to see God and, in order to see him, I must die.St. Teresa of Avila, Life, chap. 1
    I am not dying; I am entering life.St. Therese of Lisieux, the Last Conversations

    1012 The Christian vision of death receives privileged expression in the liturgy of the Church:Cf. I Thess 4:13-14 Lord, for your faithful people life is changed, not ended. When the body of our earthly dwelling lies in death we gain an everlasting dwelling place in heaven.Roman Missal, Preface of Christian Death I
    1013 Death is the end of man's earthly pilgrimage, of the time of grace and mercy which God offers him so as to work out his earthly life in keeping with the divine plan, and to decide his ultimate destiny. When "the single course of our earthly life" is completed,LG 48 # 3 we shall not return to other earthly lives: "It is appointed for men to die once."Heb 9:27 There is no "reincarnation" after death.

    1014 The Church encourages us to prepare ourselves for the hour of our death. In the litany of the saints, for instance, she has us pray: "From a sudden and unforeseen death, deliver us, O Lord";Roman Missal, Litany of the saints to ask the Mother of God to intercede for us "at the hour of our death" in the Hail Mary; and to entrust ourselves to St. Joseph, the patron of a happy death.

    Every action of yours, every thought, should be those of one who expects to die before the day is out. Death would have no great terrors for you if you had a quiet conscience .... Then why not keep clear of sin instead of running away from death? If you aren't fit to face death today, it's very unlikely you will be tomorrow ....The Imitation of Christ, 1, 23, 1
    Praised are you, my Lord, for our sister bodily Death,
    from whom no living man can escape.
    Woe on those who will die in mortal sin!
    Blessed are they who will be found in your most holy will,
    for the second death will not harm them.St. Francis of Assisi Canticle of the Creatures

    1015 "The flesh is the hinge of salvation" (Tertullian, De res. 8, 2: PL 2, 852). We believe in God who is creator of the flesh; we believe in the Word made flesh in order to redeem the flesh; we believe in the resurrection of the flesh, the fulfillment of both the creation and the redemption of the flesh.

    1016 By death the soul is separated from the body, but in the resurrection God will give incorruptible life to our body, transformed by reunion with our soul. Just as Christ is risen and lives for ever, so all of us will rise at the last day.

    1017 "We believe in the true resurrection of this flesh that we now possess" (Council of Lyons II: DS 854). We sow a corruptible body in the tomb, but he raises up an incorruptible body, a "spiritual body" (cf 1 Cor 15:42-44).

    1018 As a consequence of original sin, man must suffer "bodily death, from which man would have been immune had he not sinned" (GS # 18).

    1019 Jesus, the Son of God, freely suffered death for us in complete and free submission to the will of God, his Father. By his death he has conquered death, and so opened the possibility of salvation to all men.