St. Emily: "Love One Another"

St. Emily de Vialar, foundress of the Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition, is the patron saint of children and single women.
With so many young ladies named Emily today, I thought I'd do an informative post about a wonderful saint from France, St. Emily de Vialar. St. Valentine's Day is this Thursday, and we usually think of it as a day to celebrate romantic love. St. Emily, however, in the course of her life, personified the love of Christ for his people as she cared for little ones who had no one to love or care for them.

She was born in 1797 and at the age of fifteen, she had to leave school in Paris to tend to her widowed father. They did not get along because Emily refused to marry. For fifteen years, Emily felt called to help the poor of Gaillac, especially children who were neglected by their parents. When her grandfather died, he left her a large sum of money. She used it to purchase a large house where she lived with three other companions.

Others joined them and three months later, the archbishop authorized the Abbe to clothe twelve postulants with the religious habit. They called themselves the Congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition. Their work was to care for the needy, especially the sick, and the education of children. In 1835, she made her profession with seventeen other sisters, and received the formal approval for the rule of the Congregation. The foundress, in the course of twenty-two years, saw her Congregation grow from one to some forty houses, many of which she had founded in person. The physical energy and achievements of St. Emily de Vialar are the more remarkable in that from her youth she was troubled by a hernia, contracted characteristically in doing a deed of charity. From 1850 this became more and more serious, and it hastened her end, which came on August 24, 1856. The last thing she told the sisters was to "Love one another." She was canonized in 1951 and her feast day is June 17.

St. Emily, who loved children, pray for us!

Information gathered from Catholic Online


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