April 8 – Saint Julie Billiart

Founder of the Sisters of Notre Dame, Julie was born in France in the year 1751. From a very young age, she was much respected for her virtues and compassion, and many called her the “saint of Cuvilly.” When she was 22 years old, she became paralyzed from a gunshot that was aimed at her father from an enemy. For four years she was bedridden, and remained disabled for 22 years. Despite her paralysis, she taught catechism and worked for the church.

In 1803, following the orders of Father Varin, superior of the Fathers of Faith, Julie founded the Institute of the Sisters of Notre Dame, with the mission to assist poor children. The first students were eight orphans. On June 1, 1804, Julie was amazingly cured of her paralysis. That same year, four sisters took their vows. They made the decision to educate the girls and give aid where their services were needed. Julie dedicated her strengths and efforts to the formation of the academia and spirituality of the sisters. In the twelve years, she founded 15 convents, took 150 trips and maintain communication with the sisters. She died in 1816, at the age of 64.

In what ways to you seek the hear what God wants from you? How do you go about discovering it?


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