Louise de Marillac was a pioneer social worker, educator, and advocate. She experienced riches and poverty and had academic education and domestic training. She therefore understood the poor and their needs and was an able administrator and founder of works for their benefit. She prayed for “gentle power,” the ability to see Christ in all people and to use an infinite love for them to fulfill their needs. Her spirituality enabled her to see the need for individuals to change themselves and the need to address social problems. She promoted women by training them and matching their gifts to their work; she also made sure they were recipients of service. Rescue and foster care for foundlings, institutional care for young children, work with prisoners, and housing for the elderly were just some of the areas in which Louise served. Her projects were implemented according to surprisingly modern standards of care and were the basis for other developments in their respective fields.
Kelly, Margaret J. D.C.
"Louise de Marillac: The "Gentle Power" of Liberation,"
Vincentian Heritage Journal: Vol. 10
, Article 2.
Available at: http://via.library.depaul.edu/vhj/vol10/iss1/2