The Prayer of Saint Louise de Marillac

Corpus Juan Delgado, CM

Prayer is something that occurs between an individual and God. Therefore to speak about the prayer of Saint Louise de Marillac is to engage in a bold and daring undertaking because only she can really know and understand her relationship with God. We can attempt to understand her experience but as Saint John of the Cross states: God leads each one along different paths so that hardly one spirit will be found like another even half its method of procedure. It is also important to realize that we do not find among Louise’s writing a systematic presentation on prayer nor do we find an account of how she developed her prayer life. Rather she offered some suggestions with regard to prayer to the first Daughters of Charity. Louise’s writings contain expressions and thoughts on prayer that she put on paper in order to discuss these with her spiritual director or with the Daughters… they were not meant to be a description of her prayer life. Louise wrote for herself and did not intend for these to be read by others. Therefore what we are able to affirm with regard to Louise’s life of prayer is based on the experience that she described and that is available to us.

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