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My patron saint is St. Louise de Marillac. She was born on August 12th near Meux, France in 1591. She was actually born out of wedlock, which was a major controversy back then. She looked up to her uncle, who was a major figure of the queen. Although she grew up in the successful society of Paris, she did not have a stable home life. Her father remarried to Antoinette Le Camus, who refused to accept Louise as a part of the family. However, Louise was still cared for and educated at the Royal Monestary of Poissy until her father died when she was twelve. She ended up living with a spinstress, and practiced herbal medicine. At around fifteen, she felt a calling to become a nun, and applied to the Capuchin nuns, but was unfortunately denied, supposedly to poor health. After being denied, she felt strongly discouraged and disappointed, but her family encouraged her to decide to marry. Her uncle arranged her to be married to Antoine Le Gras, who was a secretary for the Queen at the time. They had one child named Michel, and Louise had eventually adjusted and adored home life. Although she was devoted to family, she also had a lead position in the Ladies of Charity, an organization lead by wealthy women dedicated to assisting those suffering from poverty and disease. Around 1621, Antoine had developed a chronic disease and became bedridden. During this time, Louise cared for both Antoine and Michel, but depression caused her to wonder why she was continuing being a wife and mother, and eventually became overwhelmed with guilt for not pursuing her religious journey. She prayed for a resolution, and was lucky to have St. Francis de Sales, and then the bishop of Belley. Three years later, Antoine had passed away, and Louise has decided to focus more on her own spiritual growth and journey. She ended up writing her own, “Rule of Life in the World,” that essentially dictated her structure for the day. She set aside time 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. Somehow, she still set time aside to care for Michel, and entertain houseguests. As she continued to practice this way of life, she had realized that she needed spiritual guidance to test her intensity, and later met St. Vincent de Paul, who helped her organize the Daughters of Charity. The Daughters of Charity group allowed women to set up soup kitchens, organized community hospitals, created schools and homes for orphans, taught the youth how to read, and drastically improved prison conditions. St. Louise de Marillac passed away on March 15th, 1660, and is the patron saint of disappointing children, parental loss, people who were rejected by religious orders, sick people, social workers, Vincentian Service Corps, and widows.

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