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Q: St. Billiard ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: St. Billiard
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: adessociao-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 12 Jan 2005 07:53 PST
Expires: 11 Feb 2005 07:53 PST
Question ID: 456103
There apparently are some Catholic churches named St. Billiard's. 
What biographical information is there about this supposed saint?

Request for Question Clarification by thx1138-ga on 12 Jan 2005 08:09 PST
Hello adessociao and thank you for your question.

Is it possible that the name is Billiart and not Billiard?

Very best regards


Clarification of Question by adessociao-ga on 12 Jan 2005 11:56 PST
The person who asked me about this saint thought it ended in a "d" and
now tells me it's a "t":  full name is St. Julie Billiart.  Sorry.
Subject: Re: St. Billiard
Answered By: thx1138-ga on 12 Jan 2005 12:23 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello again adessociao and thank you for your clarification.

I thought so :)

A detailed biography can be found here:
"St. Julie Billiart
(Also Julia). Foundress, and first superior-general of the
Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame of Namur, born 12 July,
1751, at Cuvilly, a village of Picardy, in the Diocese of Beauvais and
the Department of Oise, France; died 8 April, 1816, at the motherhouse
of her institute, Namur, Belgium. She was the sixth of seven children
of Jean-François Billiart and his wife, Marie-Louise-Antoinette
Debraine. The childhood of Julie was remarkable; at the age of seven,
she knew the catechism by heart, and used to gather her little
companions around her to hear them recite it and to explain it to
them. Her education was confined to the rudiments obtained at the
village school which was kept by her uncle, Thibault Guilbert. In
spiritual things her progress was so rapid that the parish priest, M.
Dangicourt, allowed her to make her First Communion and to be
confirmed at the age of nine years. At this time she made a vow of
chastity. Misfortunes overtook the Billiart family when Julie was
sixteen, and she gave herself generously to the aid of her parents,
working in the fields with the reapers. She was held in such high
esteem for her virtue and piety as to be commonly called, "the saint
of Cuvilly". When twenty-two years old, a nervous shock, occasioned by
a pistol-shot fired at her father by some unknown enemy, brought on a
paralysis of the lower limbs, which in a few years confined her to her
bed a helpless cripple, and thus she remained for twenty-two years.
During this time, when she received Holy Communion daily, Julie
exercised an uncommon gift of prayer, spending four or five hours a
day in contemplation. The rest of her time was occupied in making
linens and laces for the alter and in catechizing the village children
whom she gathered around her bed, giving special attention to those
who were preparing for their First Communion.

At Amiens, where Julie Billiart had been compelled to take refuge with
Countess Baudoin during the troublesome times of the French
Revolution, she met Françoise Blin de Bourdon, Viscountess of
Gizaincourt, who was destined to be her co-laborer in the great work
as yet unknown to either of them. The Viscountess Blin de Bourdon was
thirty-eight years old at the time of her meeting with Julie, and had
spent her youth in piety and good works; she had been imprisoned with
all of her family during the Reign of Terror, and had escaped death
only by the fall of Robespierre. She was not at first attracted by the
almost speechless paralytic, but by degrees grew to love and admire
the invalid for her wonderful gifts of soul. A little company of young
and high-born ladies, friends of the viscountess, was formed around
the couch of "the saint". Julie taught them how to lead the interior
life, while they devoted themselves generously to the cause of God and
His poor. Though they attempted all the exercises of an active
community life, some of the elements of stability must have been
wanting, for these first disciples dropped off until none was left but
Françoise Blin de Bourdon. She was never to be separated from Julie,
and with her in 1803, in obedience to Father Varin, superior of the
Fathers of the Faith, and under the auspices of the Bishop of Amiens,
the foundation was laid of the Institute of the Sisters of Notre Dame,
a society which had for its primary object the salvation of poor
children. Several young persons offered themselves to assist the two
superiors. The first pupils were eight orphans. On the feast of the
Sacred Heart, 1 June, 1804, Mother Julie, after a novena made in
obedience to her confessor, was cured of paralysis. The first vows of
religion were made on 15 October, 1804 by Julie Billiart, Françoise
Blin de Bourdon, Victoire Leleu, and Justine Garson, and their family
names were changed to names of saints. They proposed for their
lifework the Christian education of girls, and the training of
religious teachers who should go wherever their services were asked
for. Father Varin gave the community a provisional rule by way of
probation, which was so far-sighted that its essentials have never
been changed. In view of the extension of the institute, he would have
it governed by a superior-general, charged with visiting the houses,
nominating the local superiors, corresponding with the members
dispersed in the different convents, and assigning the revenues of the
society. The characteristic devotions of the Sisters of Notre Dame
were established by the foundress from the beginning. She was original
in doing away with the time-honored distinction between choir sisters
and lay sisters, but this perfect equality of rank did not in any way
prevent her from putting each sister to the work for which her
capacity and education fitted her. She attached great importance to
the formation of the sisters destined for the schools, and in this she
was ably assisted by Mother St. Joseph (Françoise Blin de Bourdon),
who had herself received an excellent education."
For thr full article see:

Also see:  (includes a painting of her)
"Sixth of seven children of peasant farmers Jean-Frangois Billiart and
Marie-Louise-Antoinette Debraine. Poorly educated, but knew her
catechism by heart at age 7, and used to explain it to other children.
At age 14 she took a private vow of chastity, and gave her life to
serving and teaching the poor. At age 22, she was sitting next to her
father when some one shot at him; the shock left her partially
crippled for 22 years. During the French Revoluation, a group of her
friends helped organize the work she'd started. Julia was miraculously
healed of her paralysis on 1 June 1804, and resumed her work. Her
organization became the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame
(Institute of Notre Dame; Sisters of Notre Dame), dedicated to the
Christian education of girls, formerly established in Amiens in, the
first vows being made by Saint Julia and two others on 15 October
1804. The Congregation By the time of her death the Institute had 15

Thank you for your question, and if you need any clarification of my
answer, do not hesitate to ask before rating my answer.

Very best regards.


Search strategy included:
saint billiart
adessociao-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Many thanks for a great answer.

Subject: Re: St. Billiard
From: thx1138-ga on 12 Jan 2005 15:25 PST
Hello again adessociao.

Just a note to say thank you very much for the 5 star rating and generous tip!

Very best regards


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