March 2016 - St. Luigi Orione and St. Louise de Marillac

St. Luigi Orione and St. Louise de Marillac. Photos: CNS St. Luigi Orione and St. Louise de Marillac. Photos: CNS
St. Luigi Orione    

Religious founder cared for poor and sick
1872–1940

Feast: March 12

The founder of The Little Work of Divine Providence, which encompasses two active and two contemplative religious orders for men and women as well as a lay movement, was born in Italy’s Piedmont. After early sojourns with Franciscans and Salesians, he entered the seminary of the Diocese of Tortona and was ordained in 1895. Always devoted to the care of others, especially the poor and sick, Don Orione established schools and learning centers, worker hostels, hospitals, and homes for the elderly, disabled, sick and blind. The members of his apostolate serve today in 300 foundations in Europe, Asia, Africa and North and South America. The dying words of this priest, who was canonized in 2004, were “Jesus … Jesus … Jesus.”

St. Louise de Marillac

Widow co-founded the Daughters of Charity
1590–1660

Feast: March 15

Born in Auvergne, France, Louise married an official of the royal court, Antoine Le Gras. Following his death in 1625, and despite strained finances and bouts of melancholy, she was an active supporter of St. Vincent de Paul’s charitable works and became co-founder with him of the Daughters of Charity. She drew up the first draft of their rule. By the time of her death, the order had established 40 houses in France, and Daughters of Charity were looking after the sick poor in Parisian parishes and sheltering hundreds of women.

Northwest Catholic - March 2016