Saint Emily de Vialar
In the service of the poorest of the poor
Santa Emily consecrated her life to the poor, whom she welcomed in her home, involving some of her companions in a true charity organization. Together with them, in 1832, in Gaillac, she inaugurated a new form of religious life devoted to the service of all the poorest of the poor - caring for them in their every sort of misery - as well as attending to the education of very young girls. The support of the Archbishop of Albi, François-Marie de Gauly, would give the Institute of St. Joseph of the Apparition such momentum, that it would spread within the span of a few years to all continents. In 1951, the Church proclaimed her a Saint, and transferred her remains to Gaillac in 1972, where it is now offered for the veneration of the Christians of the land where she was born.
42 institutes worldwide
Emily de Vialar died on August 24, 1856, the day on which she is celebrated in Marseille, where she worked for a long time. She founded her congregation at Christmastide, 1832. With the thought of spreading the Gospel in the farthest countries, she founded the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Assumption and despite many difficulties, persecutions and poverty, managed to found 42 houses from North Africa to Burma, thus giving a significant development to the Institute.
Emily was canonized on June 17, 1951, by Pope Pius XII. Today her sisters are present on all five continents. Her feast day is August 24 on the General Calendar, though in her communities she is celebrated on June 17.