Sunday, December 23, 2007

Madame Louise of France

Madame Louise of France, also known as Blessed Thérèse of Saint Augustine was the youngest daughter of King Louis XV and Polish princess Queen Marie Leszczynska. The descendant of Saint Louis, she became the spiritual daughter of Saint Teresa of Avila. Before becoming a nun, she tried to assist the Jesuits who had been abolished from France because of the liberal element at court led by her father's mistress Madame de Pompadour. In 1770 Louise chose the poorest and most rigorous Carmelite monastery in France, that of Saint Denis, where she begged to be treated the same as the rest of the sisters. She was given the veil by the papal nuncio, assisted by the young Dauphine Marie-Antoinette, her nephew's bride. According to Madame Campan, Marie-Antoinette would call Madame Louise "the most intriguing little Carmelite in the kingdom" because of the role she played behind the scenes in advising the king on church affairs. She often petitioned the queen for dowries for impoverished young ladies who wanted to become nuns. One young girl, Mademoiselle Lidoine, to whom the Queen gave a dowry at Madame Louise's plea, became the prioress who led the Blessed Martyrs of Compiegne to the scaffold on July 17, 1794.

Madame Louise, Blessed Thérèse, died on December 23, 1787. Her last words were: "Full gallop, into heaven!"
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2 comments:

alaughland said...

Intriguing choice of vocations…and she could have led a life of leisure….but “Full gallop into heaven” rather than the decadence of Court life…..wise choice.

Dymphna said...

"Full gallop into heaven." I will remember that.