Saint Louise de Marillac – 15th March. Louise was born to a noble wealthy family in 1591 in the Picardy region of France. She received an excellent education at the” Royal Monastery of Poissy”, where her aunt was a Dominican nun. From the young age of 15 she greatly desired to enter the cloistered life but due to her frail health her application was refused. At the age of 22 she married Antoine de Gras and had one son, Michel. In 1621 her husband contracted a chronic illness and in 1625 he died. Louise suffered terribly with depression and was counselled by St Francis de Sales, who encouraged her to pursue her vocation to God. Louise however had a vision of her future advisor that came to light in the person of St Vincent de Paul.in 1629 Vincent de Paul invited her to assist him with the confraternities of Charity in the parishes in France. Louise was a passionate hardworking character totally dedicated to the needs of the poor and in 1633 she set up a training school in her own home to educate young woman to address their needs.. From this humble beginning developed the religious community of” The Daughters of Charity.” which soon became established throughout Europe. In 1634 Louise took her own religious vows. By the time of her death in 1660 the congregation had more than fifty homes in France. Louise was canonized in 1934 by Pope Pius XI and in 1960 Pope John XXIII declared her the patron saint of social workers.
St. Patrick– 17th March. Saint Patrick was born in Roman Britain his father was a Christian deacon and roman official and his grandfather a priest .At the age of 16 he was captured by Irish brigands who took him back to Ireland and sold him to a chief of Antrim. For six years he tended his masters sheep. During this time he experienced a life of great austerity and he grew stronger in his faith ,a vision from God gave him courage to escape and flee back to his family in England. Here he began his clerical training and then spent several years in Auxerre in France. At the age of 43, Patrick was consecrated as a bishop he knew that his calling was to convert a predominantly pagan emerald Isle to Christianity. In a vision it appeared that all the Irish children from their mothers wombs were holding out their hands to him. In 432 he was appointed successor to Palladius as missionary bishop of Ireland by Pope Celestine 1. In 454 he established his episcopal seat at Armagh , which became the centre for Christianity in Ireland. For 40 years Patrick travelled through Ireland evangelizing, spreading the “Good News”, of the Gospel and building Churches and monasteries. He was fearless and relentless in his pursuit to destroy paganism .He is associated with the shamrock as he often used them to explain the Holy Trinity. Patricks most popular work is entitled “The Confession “. Tradition states that he died in Saul where he established the first Irish Church, his body is believed to be buried in Down Cathedral in Down- Patrick.
St Joseph, husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary– 19th March. Saint Joseph was predestined by God to be the foster father of Jesus and spouse and earthly guardian of the Blessed Virgin Mary .Most of what we know about him comes form the Gospel accounts of St Matthew and Luke that describe him as a just and upright man. Joseph came from royal lineage from the House of King David. Joseph plays an integral part in Gods plan for the salvation of mankind as his heritage directly links Jesus with the line of King David the line form which the Old Testament prophets declared that the Messiah would come. For the remainder of his life he says yes to Gods will after a vision from Gods angel convinces him that Mary is carrying the saviour of the world (Gods Son). He is a loyal, loving kind, gentle father his upmost concern is for the safety of this special child entrusted to him on earth by God and it is to Joseph that angel appears in St Matthews gospel to warn him to flee and seek shelter with his family from the wrath of king Herod It is believed that he died before the Crucifixion of our Lord. In 1870 Pope Pius 1X announced him as patron and protector of the Universal family of the Church. Joseph is also the patron saint of expectant mothers ,unborn children, workers and immigrants.