Sunday, 9 April 2017

# Saints

Saint Julie Billiart


The 8th of April is the feast day of Saint Julie Billiart. She is the patron saint against poverty; bodily ills; disease.

Saint Julie Billiart lived between 1751 to 1816 and was born in Cuvilly France, to a large well to do farming family. She knew the catechism by heart by the age of seven and would teach it to her playmates. At the age of nine she was allowed to make an early first communion, as her spiritual progress was so great. She already had a reputation as a living saint by the time she was a teenager. She worked in the fields next to the reapers when financial ruin occurred in her family. She became paralyzed and was bed-ridden when she was twenty-two and remain an invalid for the next twenty two years. However, she received Holy Communion daily and made alter laces and linens and taught the village children catechism by her bedside and spent hours in contemplative prayer. She gave aid to priests in her home during hte French Revolution and smuggled to safety hiding in a hay cart. She eventually took refuge in the home of a countess, and rapidly gained a reputation for her sanctity and around her bed had a company of young, noble ladies whom she taught the ways of interior life. This was the foundation of the Institute of the Sisters of Notre Dame, dedicated to the education of girls and training of catechists. She made her vows in 1804 and was cured of her paralysis. She made over a hundred journeys and founded fifteen convents over the next twelve years. 

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