24 July 2018

Blessed Louisa of Savoy (1461-1503)

Louisa was born into the highest circle of nobility. Her father was the duke of Savoy, while on her mother’s side her uncle was the king of France. A pious child, she dreamed of entering religious life. But this way hardly an acceptable vocation for a child of her station. Instead, when she was seventeen, her uncle arranged her marriage to a young nobleman. Though they would have no children, the marriage proved a happy one. Her husband accepted her religious devotion, which she combined with an active role in court life. Together they set a high moral standard, requiring that anyone who cursed in their presence make a contribution to the poor. Meanwhile, Louisa engaged in a range of charitable activities, from care of widows and orphans to nursing the sick and even victims of the plague.

When she was twenty-seven, her husband died. After a period of mourning, she made preparations to leaved her privileged world – putting on the habit of a Franciscan tertiary and distributing her fortune. After two years she entered a convent of Poor Clares in Orbe. There she spent the rest of her life in prayer and poverty, eventually rising to the office of abbess. She died on July 24, 1503 and was beatified in 1839.

Source : The Franciscan Saints  (Franciscan Media) 

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