Think about all of the religious that have influenced your life often in ways we do not even know about. Christ lives in our world through the day-to-day work of many hands who often labor in obscurity. Founders of religious orders often do so because they see a need, and that need is most often to the poorest and the most neglected. Blessed are we that many heed the call of the those foundations, to carry on the work laid out for them by their founders.
And thank goodness (God) they do.
Louise was a lay-woman who though she felt the call to religious life was unable to do so because of ill health. I think that the thing that always impresses me about these stories is the ability of these individuals to take up and continue the call no matter what the circumstance. What if she had joined a community and then labored in obscurity - we may never have heard of her piety or experienced the bounty from her founding of the Sisters of Charity whom she eventually joined after the death of her husband. John XXIII went so far as to declare her the patroness of social workers; her religious bent affects those who are not religious but live out a vocation to the poor and marginalized.
She worked with Vincent de Paul and her body is incorrupt. An amazing saint.
Also a shout out to Jan Adalbert Balicki.
I am greatly consoled by all we have been told about you and for the graces that God has bestowed upon you in the duty of directing this work which His goodness has confided to you. May He be forever blessedl I beg the divine mercy to grant you the grace of being thankful to Him for all that He has done. I am certain, my dear Sister, that our three sisters' profit greatly from the good example and the advice which, in your charity, you give them. However, since you cannot always be with them, I beg the sisters, for the love of our Lord, not to allow themselves to be too distracted by the things they hear around them. They are dealing with all kinds of people. While it is true that some of them lead us to recollection and the awareness of human frailty, others can give rise to quite different thoughts because of the habits they have contracted by living as they do. The sisters must often renew their purity of intention which causes them to perform all their actions for the love of God. This will enable them to preserve the spirit which true Daughters of Charity must possess. Finally, I beg all of you not to allow the distance which separates you from us to cause you to forget the care with which you must observe your Rules and the virtues which the Daughters of Charity must possess.
-- From a letter To Sister Anne Hardemont