Martha Beaudoin, DC


The Daughters of Charity’s Rules are rooted in the 1617 Regulations of Chatillon that Vincent de Paul made for the Confraternity of Charity there. The Regulations specified Common Rules, individual spiritual exercises and the ways in which assemblies were to be conducted. Louise de Marillac collaborated with Vincent to further develop the Rules and adapted them according to the needs of different places and types of service. Adaptations were based on actual observations of the Daughters’ work. The Rules specified activities for every hour and gave instructions on how to do them so that spirituality would be properly maintained. However, the poor’s urgent needs were to supersede the Rules. Vincent spoke of the Rules during conferences, but he postponed writing them down for various reasons. Even when asking for episcopal approbation of the Daughters, he did not write them out fully. It fell to his successor to give the Daughters the text.