Friday, March 15, 2013


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated the Missa pro Ecclesiae in the Sistine Chapel on Thursday afternoon. Below, please find Vatican Radio’s translation of the full text of his homily.


In these three readings I see that there is something in common: it is movement. In the first reading, movement is the journey [itself]; in the second reading, movement is in the up-building of the Church. In the third, in the Gospel, the movement is in [the act of] profession: walking, building, professing.

Walking: the House of Jacob. “O house of Jacob, Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.” This is the first thing God said to Abraham: “Walk in my presence and be blameless.” Walking: our life is a journey and when we stop, there is something wrong. Walking always, in the presence of the Lord, in the light of the Lord, seeking to live with that blamelessness, which God asks of Abraham, in his promise.

Building: to build the Church. There is talk of stones: stones have consistency, but [the stones spoken of are] living stones, stones anointed by the Holy Spirit. Build up the Church, the Bride of Christ, the cornerstone of which is the same Lord. With [every] movement in our lives, let us build!

Third, professing: we can walk as much we want, we can build many things, but if we do not confess Jesus Christ, nothing will avail. We will become a pitiful NGO, but not the Church, the Bride of Christ. When one does not walk, one stalls. When one does not built on solid rocks, what happens? What happens is what happens to children on the beach when they make sandcastles: everything collapses, it is without consistency. When one does not profess Jesus Christ - I recall the phrase of Leon Bloy – “Whoever does not pray to God, prays to the devil.” When one does not profess Jesus Christ, one professes the worldliness of the devil.

Walking, building-constructing, professing: the thing, however, is not so easy, because in walking, in building, in professing, there are sometimes shake-ups - there are movements that are not part of the path: there are movements that pull us back.

This Gospel continues with a special situation. The same Peter who confessed Jesus Christ, says, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. I will follow you, but let us not speak of the Cross. This has nothing to do with it.” He says, “I’ll follow you on other ways, that do not include the Cross.” When we walk without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, and when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord. We are worldly, we are bishops, priests, cardinals, Popes, but not disciples of the Lord.

I would like that all of us, after these days of grace, might have the courage - the courage - to walk in the presence of the Lord, with the Cross of the Lord: to build the Church on the Blood of the Lord, which is shed on the Cross, and to profess the one glory, Christ Crucified. In this way, the Church will go forward.

My hope for all of us is that the Holy Spirit, that the prayer of Our Lady, our Mother, might grant us this grace: to walk, to build, to profess Jesus Christ Crucified. So be it.

Vatican City, 15 March 2013 (VIS) – “Courage, dear brothers! Probably half of us are in our old age. Old age, they say, is the seat of wisdom. The old ones have the wisdom that they have earned from walking through life. Like old Simeon and Anna at the temple whose wisdom allowed them to recognize Jesus. Let us give with wisdom to the youth: like good wine that improves with age, let us give the youth the wisdom of our lives.”
This is how Pope Francisco addressed the cardinals this morning in the Clementine Hall at his first meeting with the entire College of Cardinals, electors and non-electors. 
Full text of the Holy Father's address to the Cardinals:

Brother Cardinals,

This period of the Conclave has been filled with meaning not just for the College of Cardinals but also for all the faithful. During these days we have felt almost palpably the affection and solidarity of the universal Church, as well as the attention of many people who, even if not sharing our faith, look upon the Church and the Holy See with respect and admiration.

From every corner of the earth a heart-felt chorus of prayer was raised by Christian peoples for the new Pope, and my first encounter with the crowds filling St. Peter’s Square was an emotional one. With that eloquent image of a praying and joyful populace still fixed in my mind, I would like to manifest my sincere gratitude to the Bishops, priests, consecrated persons, young people, families, and to the aged for their spiritual closeness which is so touching and sincere.

I feel the need to express my deepest gratitude to all of you, venerable and dear Brother Cardinals, for your collaboration in running the Church during the Sede Vacante. I greet, to begin with, the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Angelo Sodano, who I thank with expressions of devotion for the kind wishes he extended to me in your name. With him I thank Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, for his fine work during this delicate transition phase, and also Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, who led us in the Conclave. Many thanks! I think with particular affection of the venerable Cardinals who, because of age or illness, assured us of their participation and love for the Church by offering their suffering and prayers. And I would like to inform them that, the day before yesterday, Cardinal Mejia had a heart attack and is in hospital. I believe he is in stable condition and he has sent us his greetings.

I cannot forget to thank all those, who in so many ways, worked to prepare and conduct the Conclave, ensuring the safety and tranquillity of the Cardinals during this very important time in the life of the Church.

I extend an especially affectionate thought, filled with gratitude, to my venerable predecessor, Benedict XVI, who, during the years of his pontificate enriched and invigorated the Church with his teaching, his goodness, guidance, faith, humility, and his meekness, which will remain the spiritual patrimony of all. The Petrine ministry, lived with total dedication, found in him a wise and humble interpreter with his gaze always fixed on Christ, the Risen Christ, present and alive in the Eucharist. Our fervent prayer will always accompany him, our eternal memory, and affectionate gratitude. We feel that Benedict XVI lit a flame in the depth of our hearts, a flame that continues to burn because it will be fanned by his prayers that will continue to sustain the Church on its spiritual and missionary journey.

Dear Brother Cardinals, this meeting of ours is meant to be the continuation of that intense ecclesial communion we experienced during this period. Animated by a profound sense of responsibility and sustained by a great love for Christ and for the Church, we prayed together, fraternally sharing our feelings, our experiences and reflections. In this very cordial atmosphere our reciprocal knowledge of one another and mutual openness to one another, grew. And this is good because we are brothers. As someone told me: the Cardinals are the Holy Father’s priests. But we are that community, that friendship, that closeness, that will do good for every one of us. That mutual knowledge and openness to one another helped us to be open to the action of Holy Spirit. He, the Paraclete, is the supreme protagonist of every initiative and manifestation of faith. It’s interesting and it makes me think. The Paraclete creates all the differences in the Church and seems like an apostle of Babel. On the other hand, the Paraclete unifies all these differences – not making them equal – but in harmony with one another. I remember a Church father who described it like this: “Ipse harmonia est.” The Paraclete gives each one of us a different charism, and unites us in this community of the Church that adores the Father, the Son, and Him – the Holy Spirit.

Starting from the authentic collegial affection that united the College of Cardinals, I express my desire to serve the Gospel with renewed love, helping the Church to become ever more in Christ and with Christ, the fruitful life of the Lord. Stimulated by the Year of Faith, all together, pastors and faithful, we will make an effort to respond faithfully to the eternal mission: to bring Jesus Christ to humanity, and to lead humanity to an encounter with Jesus Christ: the Way, the Truth and the Life, truly present in the Church and, at the same time, in every person. This encounter makes us become new men in the mystery of Grace, provoking in our hearts the Christian joy that is a hundredfold that given us by Christ to those who welcome Him into their lives.

As Pope Benedict XVI reminded us so many times in his teachings and, finally, with that courageous and humble gesture, it is Christ who guides the Church through His Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church, with His life-giving and unifying strength. Of many He makes a single body – the mystical Body of Christ. Let us never give in to pessimism, to that bitterness that the devil tempts us with every day. Let us not give into pessimism and let us not be discouraged. We have the certainty that the Holy Spirit gives His Church, with His powerful breath, the courage to persevere, the courage to persevere and to search for new ways to evangelise, to bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Christian truth is attractive and convincing because it responds to the deep need of human existence, announcing in a convincing way that Christ is the one Saviour of the whole of man and of all men. This announcement is as valid today as it was at the beginning of Christianity when the Church worked for the great missionary expansion of the Gospel.

Dear Brothers, have courage! Half of us are old: I like to think of old age as the seat of wisdom in life. Old people have wisdom because they know they have journeyed through life – like the aged Simeon and Anna in the Temple. It was that wisdom that allowed them to recognise Jesus. We must give this wisdom to young people: like good wine that improves with age, let us give young people this life’s wisdom. I’m reminded of what a German poet said about aging: “Es ist ruhig, das Alter, und fromm” – “age is the time of peace and prayer”. We need to give young people this wisdom. 

You are returning to your respective Sees to continue your ministry, enriched by these days so filled with faith and ecclesial communion. This unique and incomparable experience has allowed us to capture all the beauty of the ecclesial reality, which is a refection of the light of the Risen Christ: one day we shall gaze upon the beautiful face of that Risen Christ.

I commit my ministry, and your ministry, to the powerful intercession of Mary, our Mother, Mother of the Church. Beneath her maternal gaze, may each one of us walk and listen to the voice of her divine Son, strengthening unity, persevering together in prayer and giving witness to the true faith in the continual presence of the Lord. With these sentiments, sincere sentiments, I impart my Apostolic Blessing, which I extend to your collaborators and to the people under your pastoral care. 

On finishing his address, the Pope greeted, one by one, all the cardinals present in the Clementine Hall personally.
Vatican City, 15 March 2013 (VIS) – At this afternoon's press conference, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office read a statement responding to allegations made against Bergoglio in Argentina. It states:
“The campaign against Bergoglio is well-known and dates back to many years ago. It has been made by a publication that carries out sometimes slanderous and defamatory campaigns. The anticlerical cast of this campaign and of other accusations against Bergoglio is well-known and obvious.”
“The charges refer to the time before Jorge Mario Bergoglio became bishop [of Buenos Aires], when he was Provincial Superior of the Jesuits in Argentina and accuse him of not having protected two priests who were kidnapped.”
“This was never a concrete or credible accusation in his regard. He was questioned by an Argentinian court as someone aware of the situation but never as a defendant. He has, in documented form, denied any accusations.”
“Instead, there have been many declarations demonstrating how much Bergoglio did to protect many persons at the time of the military dictatorship. Bergoglio's role, once he became bishop, in promoting a request for forgiveness of the Church in Argentina for not having done enough at the time of the dictatorship is also well-known.”
“The accusations pertain to a use of historical-sociological analysis of the dictatorship period made years ago by anticlerical elements to attack the Church. They must be firmly rejected.”
Vatican City, 15 March 2013 (VIS) – The Holy Father has sent a message to Dr. Riccardo Di Segni, the Chief Rabbi of Rome, the oldest Jewish community of the diaspora. “On this day of my election as Bishop of Rome and Pastor of the Universal Church,” reads the text, “I send you my cordial greetings, informing you that the solemn inauguration of my pontificate will take place on Tuesday, 19 March.”
“Trusting in the protection of the Most High,” the Pope continues, “I strongly hope to be able to contribute to the progress of the relations that have existed between Jews and Catholics since Vatican Council II in a spirit of renewed collaboration and in service of a world that may always be more in harmony with the Creator's will.”


World leaders welcome Pope Francis  | Pope Francis, Obama, David Cameron, Putin, Ban Ki Moon

Messages have been pouring in from around the world since the announcement last night of the election of Pope Francis.
On hearing the news Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted: 
A momentous day for the 1.2bn Catholics around the world as His Holiness Pope Francis I is appointed the 266th Bishop of Rome.
President Obama said in a statement:
On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I offer our warm wishes to His Holiness Pope Francis... As a champion of the poor and the most vulnerable among us, he carries forth the message of love and compassion that has inspired the world for more than 2,000 years - that in each other we see the face of God.
As the first pope from the Americas, his selection also speaks to the strength and vitality of a region that is increasingly shaping our world, and alongside millions of Hispanic Americans, those of us in the United States share the joy of this historic day.
Just as I appreciated our work with Pope Benedict XVI, I look forward to working with His Holiness to advance peace, security and dignity for our fellow human beings, regardless of their faith.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
I offer my heartfelt congratulations .. I look forward to continuing co-operation between the United Nations and the Holy See, under the wise leadership of His Holiness Pope Francis.
We share many common goals - from the promotion of peace, social justice and human rights, to the eradication of poverty and hunger - all core elements of sustainable development.
I am certain that His Holiness will continue to build on the legacy of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, in the promotion of inter-faith dialogue which is at the heart of the  Alliance of Civilisations initiative.
Argentine President Cristina Kirchner
We wish him, as he takes the reins of the Church, a fruitful pastoral mission, with such tremendous responsibility on his shoulders, seeking justice, equality, brotherhood and peace among mankind.
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa
Long live Francis I!
Archbishop of San Salvador, Jose Luis Escobar
We are extremely happy because our Lord has cast his eyes on Latin America, and we are extremely grateful to God for that because we have a Latin American pope.
Russian President Vladimir Putin
I am confident that the constructive partnership between Russia and the Vatican will continue, and will further develop on the basis of the Christian values that unite us. Your Holiness, I wish you good health, well-being and productive work in strengthening peace and in furthering dialogue between civilisations and religions.


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
15 Mar 2013
Pope Francis boarded a bus with the other cardinals after his first appearance on the balcony as pope
The 1,500 Australian pilgrims headed for Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day in July this year will be among the first in the world to meet Pope Francis, hear him speak and be inspired by a pontiff who just two days into his Papacy is already being dubbed "the People's Pope."
"The Holy Father is the first-ever Latin American Pope and during his more than two decades as Archbishop of Buenos Aires showed his deep concern for the poor and love for Catholic Social Teaching," says Selina Hasham, Chair of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference's National World Youth Day Committee.
"To travel to Rio and meet the Pope on his Latin American home turf will be a wonderful opportunity for young people world-wide," she says.
Jake Ryan, Project and Events Officer for the Archdiocese of Sydney and one of the organisers of the Australian pilgrim groups who will travel to Rio for WYD 2013 to be held from 23-28 July agrees.
"Having a Holy Father who from Argentina and Latin America is totally new and a great connection for all those attending WYD in Rio," he says and believes with the election of the new Pope, many hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from across South America as well as the US and Canada will immediately register and be part of the event which may well make history with an estimated 5 million or more youthful pilgrims now expected to attend.
Selina Hasham, Chair National World Youth Day Committee, Bishops Commission for Pastoral Life
Pope Francis is a great example of the new evangelisation and will inspire young people building on theme "Go forth and Make Disciples of All Nations" which has been chosen for WYD Rio 2013, Jake says and believes the election of a Pope from the New World will be like "a breath of fresh air for the Church."
Another who is urging as many young people as possible to make every effort to attend Rio for WYD this year is Bernard Toutounji, Director of Catholic Youth Services.
"The election of a new pope is an exciting time for all, and most especially young Catholics. Now with WYD set to be Pope Francis' first major apostolic pilgrimage, young Australians have a chance to see the South American Pope on his home soil," he says and encourages young people who have been considering WYD to take a leap in the final weeks before registrations close, and join the Aussie contingent to meet and be inspired by the world's new Holy Father.
Since his election two days ago, Pope Francis has continued to live the same simple and humble lifestyle he led in his native Buenos Aires and has surprised - and delighted - many when on Wednesday evening, he eschewed the special limousine to take him to his hostel after appearing on the balcony in St Peter's Square for the first time as Pontiff where he humbly asked the crowds gathered below to pray for him.
Instead of a limousine and chauffeur, he insisted instead on climbing onto the bus with the all the other Cardinals and arrived back at the Domus Santa Marta where they all stayed during the Conclave for dinner. The next day with a similar lack of pomp and circumstance, he left for St Mary Majors Basilica to pray and offer a bouquet of flowers to the Virgin Mary. He then stopped off at the hotel where he had stayed prior to the Conclave, packed his bags himself, carried them downstairs to the lobby and quietly paid his bill.
Rio de Janeiro site of World Youth Day 2013
"Much has been said about Pope Francis' humility and he has already given great example already as Pope, as well as before he became Pope, as to how we are called to live and act," says Bernard. "In his first homily to the cardinals on Thursday, he also clarified while we must serve those around us, if we do not confess Christ in all we do we risk becoming no more than social workers not apostles of the Lord."
Not only is the new Pope full of humility with a special focus on social justice and a robust champion of the poor, he also is a strong believer in mission and evangelisation.
"Benedict XVI has insisted on the renewal of faith being a priority and presents faith as a gift that must be passed on and be offered to others," Pope Francis said as Archbishop of Buenos Aires in a wide-ranging interview last year with the Italian newspaper, La Stampa. "In this Year of Faith we remember the gift we have received and we are called on to renew this alliance and our belonging to the community of God."
He went on to say that in South America, priests and religious and lay Catholics were encouraged to make contact with families that were not involved in the parish and be a Church that goes out to the people.  "We are not just a Church that welcomes and receives. We organise missions in public squares where many people usually gather: we pray, we celebrate Mass, we offer baptism. This is the style of parishes and the diocese itself. Other than this we try to reach out to people who are far away, via digital means and brief text messaging."
The new Holy Father's exhortation to take the gift of Christ out into the world and cities, will resonate strongly with young pilgrims. And the fact that this year for the first  time, instead of Days in the Diocese, WYD Rio 2013 is encouraging pilgrims to spend a week or more engaging in works of mission and mercy in cities and towns across Latin America in the lead up to WYD is certain to resonate equally strongly with the new Pope, Selina Hasham says.
Jake Ryan (right) with Harvest Travel director, Philip Ryall and some of WYD11 pilgrims prior to taking off for Spain
"The Aussie contingent going to WYD in Rio have responded to the focus on mission with many different groups going to various parts of Latin America to join the Fraternas and other communities to work with the poor, dispossessed and disabled," she says and believes while they may find the extreme poverty in the slums ringing the major cities confronting and overwhelming, she is convinced the experience will help deepen the pilgrims' faith and their understanding of the Church's teachings.
Throughout his years as Bishop and then Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis has made the poor his one of his main priorities and has paid regular visits to the slums that ring the city. The poor and marginalised are never far from his thoughts and in 2002 when he was created a cardinal by Blessed John Paul II, he insisted that Argentineans not come to Rome for the Consistory but instead to donate the money they would have spent travelling to Rome to the poor.
"Human rights are not only violated by terrorism, repression or assassination but also by unfair economic structures that create huge inequalities," Pope Francis said as Archbishop of Buenos Aires and firmly believes this is even more true today as the chasm between rich and poor continues to grow.



Landmark visit may test China ties reporter, Taipei
Catholic Church News Image of
Ma Ying-jeou's visit will be only the second by a Taiwan head of state
Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Friday that President Ma Ying-jeou will attend installation ceremonies for Pope Francis and is set to depart for Rome on Sunday.
Ma’s visit will be only the second time that a Taiwan president has visited the Vatican – the only state in Europe that maintains diplomatic ties with Taipei rather than Beijing.
Chen Shui-bian, Ma’s predecessor, attended the funeral of Blessed John Paul in 2005 but did not attend the installation of Benedict XVI.
One Church observer who asked not to be identified said such a trip would have been unlikely in the past and that his attendance at the installation of Pope Francis next week was telling.
“Ma’s visiting the pope was previously seen as impossible under the political shadow of Beijing. The installation as well as stagnating Beijing-Vatican relations has offered a rare chance for a diplomatic breakthrough for Taiwan,” the observer said.
The observer added that it was likely that Beijing had reached some kind of consensus with Taipei so that Ma’s visit to the Vatican would not cause the same tension that followed former President Chen’s so-called “funeral diplomacy” in 2005.
But early indications from Beijing indicate that China intends to take a hard line with the new pontiff, as a foreign ministry spokesperson on Thursday said China hopes for flexibility on Pope Francis’s part, including the severing of all diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
Local media have reported that the Vatican has assured all the normal courtesies to Ma as head of state upon his arrival, and that Rome has sought Beijing’s understanding in the granting of visas for Ma’s delegation.
Monsignor Paul Russell, the papal representative in Taiwan, further noted that the Holy See was “happy to welcome” President Ma.
After his re-election to a second term last year, Ma – a non-practicing Catholic – expressed his interest in meeting then Pope Benedict in the Vatican to Archbishop Osvaldo Padilla, the papal envoy at his inauguration ceremony.
Meanwhile, the Bishops’ Conference of Taiwan will send a 10-member delegation, including bishops and lay Catholics, to attend the installation.
While media reports suggested that the delegation would be traveling with Ma, the bishops’ conference clarified that they were arranging their own travel to Rome.


The attack took place last night. Authors of the act Still unknown. The building had been attacked a few weeks ago.

Benghazi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Unidentified persons have set fire to the Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Mark in Benghazi. This is confirmed in a statement by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry. There the authors of the act are as yet unknown. This is the second attack on the religious building. The first took place a few weeks ago. In December a group of Salafists planted a bomb near another Christian complex in Misrata. The explosion left two dead and dozens wounded.
Abdel-Salam al-Barghathi, a security official in Benghazi said that his forces tried to stop a group of men as they attacked the building on fire. According to the agent this gesture was a kind of response to the anti-Libyan protest that took place in Cairo after the death of Ezzat Atallah, a Christian of 45 who died March 10 in a prison in Benghazi.

Ali al-Ashiry, Foreign Ministry secretary points out that Libya is in chaos, especially Cyrenaica, where Islamic militants are exploiting the security vacuum to carry out attacks against religious minorities.

Since Gaddafi's fall, the number of attacks against foreign residents has increased. The most affected are Egyptians, especially Catholic and Orthodox Copts. On 3 February, an armed group attacked a religious building in the capital of Cyrenaica and assaulted two Coptic clergymen, Fr Paul Isaac and his assistant.  last month,four foreigners from Egypt, South Africa, South Korea and a Swede with a US passport were arrested for allegedly circulating Bibles and other religious material. They are currently in a Tripoli jail waiting for trial. On 28 February, the authorities arrested 48 Egyptian peddlers on charges of proselytising. Twenty were eventually sent home following the intervention of Egyptian authorities. Under pressure from the Egyptian Foreign Ministry 44 of them were released. On returning home they confessed that they were beaten and tortured.

Catholic religious orders have also been targeted by Muslim militias despite operating in the country for decades in hospitals and nursing homes. In January, Islamists forced the Ursuline Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus out of the city of Bayda.In October, the same thing happened to the Sisters of the Convent of the Sacred Family of Spoleto in Derna who felt they had to leave the city even though local residents wanted them to stay. (S.C.)


John 7: 1 - 2, 10, 25 - 30

1After this Jesus went about in Galilee; he would not go about in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him.2Now the Jews' feast of Tabernacles was at hand.10But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private.25Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, "Is not this the man whom they seek to kill?26And here he is, speaking openly, and they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ?27Yet we know where this man comes from; and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from."28So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, "You know me, and you know where I come from? But I have not come of my own accord; he who sent me is true, and him you do not know.29I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me."30So they sought to arrest him; but no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come.


St. Louise de Marillac
Feast: March 15

Feast Day:March 15
12 August 1591 at Meux, France
Died:15 March 1660 at Paris, France
11 March 1934 by Pope Pius XI
Major Shrine:Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Rue du Bac, Paris, France
Patron of:disappointing children, loss of parents, people rejected by religious orders, sick people, social workers, Vincentian Service Corps, widows
Foundress of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, born at Paris, 12 August, 1591, daughter of Louis de Marillac, Lord of Ferri res, and Marguerite Le Camus; died there, 15 March, 1660. Her mother having died soon after the birth of Louise, the education of the latter devolved upon her father, a man of blameless life. In her earlier years she was confided to the care of her aunt, a religious at Poissy. Afterwards she studied under a preceptress, devoting much time to the cultivation of the arts. Her father's serious disposition was reflected in the daughter's taste for philosophy and kindred subjects. When about sixteen years old, Louise developed a strong desire to enter the Capuchinesses (Daughter of the Passion). Her spiritual director dissuaded her, however, and her father having died, it became necessary to decide her vocation. Interpreting her director's advice, she accepted the hand of Antoine* Le Gras, a young secretary under Maria de' Medici. A son was born of this marriage on 13 October, 1613, and to his education Mlle Le Gras devoted herself during the years of his childhood. Of works of charity she never wearied. In 1619 she became acquainted with St. Francis de Sales, who was then in Paris, and Mgr. Le Campus, Bishop of Belley, became her spiritual adviser. Troubled by the thought that she had rejected a call to the religious state, she vowed in 1623 not remarry should her husband die before her.
M. Le Gras died on 21 December, 1625, after a long illness. In the meantime his wife had made the acquaintance of a priest known as M. Vincent (St. Vincent de Paul), who had been appointed superior of the Visitation Monastery by St. Francis of Sales. She placed herself under his direction, probably early in 1625. His influence led her to associate herself with his work among the poor of Paris, and especially in the extension of the Confrérie de la Charité, an association which he had founded for the relief of the sick poor. It was this labour which decided her life's work, the founding of the Sisters of Charity. The history of the evolution of this institute, which Mlle Le Gras plays so prominent a part, has been given elsewhere (see Charity, Sister of); it suffices here to say that, with formal ecclesiastical and state recognition, Mlle Le Gras' life-work received its assurance of success. Her death occurred in 1660, a few month before the death of St. Vincent, with whose labours she had been so closely united.

(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)