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The first disciple of St. Montfort and co–founders of the Daughters of Wisdom.
Brothers of St. Gabriel came to India nearly one hundred years ago. In India, they are working in more than 80 Educational Institutions. We have already seen how Sisters had joined him as disciples. He wrote a Rule for them also and they took their religious vows in 1715. Their society is known as ‘the Daughters of Wisdom’. They are now in 30 countries, looking after education and health-care particularly the poor ones.
Marie Louise Trichet was born in Poitiers, France on May 7, 1684. Her parents were Mr. Julian Trichet and Francoise Lecoq. Mr. Julian exercised the profession of attorney to the presidential council of Poitiers. Marie Louise received her first education in her family itself. Then she studied in a school conducted by the Daughters of Our Lady She had a lively intelligence, a generous heart, an active temperament, a robust health and an inclination to virtue. At the age of 17, she desired to become a religious.
In 1701, Marie Louise met Fr. Montfort and placed herself under his guidance. At the invitation of the latter, she came to stay in the Poorhouse of Poitiers. On February 2, 1703, she was given a grey habit and she came to be known as Sr. Marie Louise of Jesus. She gave herself unstintingly to the service of the poor in that house and she was appointed the official bursar. In 1715, at the request of Montfort, she along with Sr. of the Conception, left for La Rochelle. The Sisters worked in the charitable school for girls founded by Montfort. Montfort wrote the Rule for the Daughters of Wisdom and got it approved by the Bishop on August 1, 1715. Both the Sisters made their religious profession on August 22, 1715. On that day two novices received their religious habit. When Montfort died on April 28, 1716 the Sisters were in La Rochelle.
In 1719, Mrs. Trichet, came to La Rochelle and asked the Sisters to return to the Poorhouse of Poitiers, promising them every help to start a novitiate there. Sr. Marie Louise, Sr. of the Conception, and Sr. of St. Joseph came to the Poorhouse of Poitiers. The project of founding the novitiate proved a failure. One Mr. Goudeau suggested to Sr. Marie Louise that it was better for her to go to St. Laurent-sur-Sevre, where Montfort was buried, to start her first community. Mme. De Bouille and her uncle Marquis of Magnanne bought a property there and gifted it to the Sisters. In 1720, the Sisters came to St.Laurent. There were no resources and Sr.Marie Louise had to place her confidence in God’s Providence and work hard. In 1722, the same benefactors bought another property and gifted it to the Fathers and Brothers of Holy Spirit, founded by St. Montfort. The Brothers looked after the school there. By inviting the Fathers and Brothers to St. Laurent and by making all arrangements to start their first community, St. Marie Louise played a significant role in their history.
Sr. Marie Louise was the Superior General till 1759. From 1720 – 58, she founded 36 communities. She further transmitted to the Sisters, Brothers and Fathers, St. Montfort’s teachings and his spirit. She died at St. Laurent on April 28, 1759, the same date on which St.Montfort died. Her tomb is next to St.Montfort’s tomb in the parish church in St. Laurent. She was a great woman of faith and she was beatified on May 16, 1993.