Vincent and Louise: A Model for Teamwork

When Louise de Marillac first discovered that Vincent de Paul had been assigned to be her new spiritual director, she stated, “It was repugnant for me to accept him.” While it is hard to know exactly what was behind Louise’s sentiments, it is clear that she was not pleased by the idea of working together with this Gascon peasant. However, as time went on, Vincent and Louise developed a deep and effective collaboration that would transform service to the poor and marginalized in seventeenth-century France and beyond. From a less than promising start, their friendship lasted 35 years, and their work together created a living legacy of which we are all part.

Think back to an instance when your initial perception of a work relationship changed over time. What did you learn from this experience?

A.2, Light, in Louise de Marillac, et al., Spiritual Writings of Louise De Marillac: Correspondence and Thoughts (New City Press, 1991), 1.