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St. Julia Billiart

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Feastday: April 8
Patron against poverty; bodily ills; disease
Birth: 1751
Death: 1816

Foundress of the Sisters of Notre Dame. Maria Rose Julia Billiart was born in Cuvilly, France. She took a vow of virginity while young and worked so hard for the poor that she collapsed, remaining a cripple until 1804 when she was miraculously cured. She stayed in Amiens, where the Institute of Notre Dame was founded by Julia and pious friends in 1804. In 1809 she was forced to move to Namur, and the Motherhouse was instituted there. By the time of her death, there were fifteen convents in operation. Pope Paul VI canonized her in 1969.

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