Louise de Marillac was born in Paris, France in 1591. She was orphaned at the age of twelve years. At the age of twenty-two, she married Antony Le Gras and together they had one son. Louise was widowed in 1625 at the age of thirty-four.

Louise had a great friend and spiritual director in Vincent de Paul. He encouraged her to help the poor. Eventually, a group of village women gathered around Louise to help her serve the poor. Louise formed a new religious order and these women became the Daughters of Charity in 1633.

Louise s mission to the poor and sick is embodied in the words from her holy rules: You will have no veil, save only that of modesty; no cloister, but the streets of the city, the hovels of the poor, the classroom, or the wards of hospitals; your only cell will be a hired room, and your grill, holy obedience.

Louise remained their Mother Superior until her death on March 15, 1660 (her feast day). Louise's dying words to her sisters still apply to us today: Take great care to serve the poor.

Louise was beatified in 1920 and canonized a saint in 1934.