Louise de Marillac was born in Meux, France. She came from a wealthy family but unfortunately was dealt tragedy in her young life. She lost both of her parents, her mother as a young child and her father at age 15, leaving her an orphan. Louise wanted to become a nun but was discouraged from doing so by her priest who arranged a marriage. Love grew from this marriage and she gave birth to a son. Her husband fell ill and she nursed him until his death.
Later, Louise met St. Vincent de Paul who became her spiritual adviser. She devoted her life to his cause and helped direct a group of women volunteers. Together these women nursed the sick, poor and neglected. In 1634, St. Louise took her vows and the volunteers became a formal order. Louise was then elected Superior of the order Sisters of Charity. By her death more than 40 convents had been established ministering to the less fortunate.
St. Louise was canonized in 1934. She is the patron saint of social workers.