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Early Life and Spiritual Awakening

The sixth of seven children, Julie Billiart was raised in a pious Catholic home where her adventure began. Julie came from humble beginnings, but her curiosity and kindness made her unique. Julie had a profoundly spiritual experience when she was sixteen years old, following a medical episode that left her largely paralyzed. Rather of weakening her spirit, this misfortune strengthened her faith and fortitude, providing the groundwork for her life's purpose.

The Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur was established in 1803 by Julie Billiart in the wake of the French Revolution, which uprooted several religious organizations. This church was called to serve the needs of the larger community as well as the impoverished by offering education. Julie's vision for the Sisters was based on the Christian ideals that guided it and the transformational potential of education.


Saint Julie Billiart firmly believed that education was a catalyst for positive change, particularly for those on the margins of society, or those seen with less privileges.

The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur established schools across Europe, emphasizing academic excellence and instilling a strong sense of Christian values.

Julie's educational mission sought to empower individuals, especially girls and those in poverty, through the dual gifts of knowledge and faith.

The feast day of St. Julie Billiart is celebrated on April 8th each year. On this day, those inspired by her life reflect on her dedication to education, faith, and legacy.

Legacy and Canonization:

The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, who uphold St. Julie Billiart's ideal of service and education, continue to carry on her legacy. Teachers, caretakers, and everyone committed to building a more compassionate and just society are continually motivated by her lessons and lifestyle.

Julie Billiart was beatified in 1906 by Pope Pius IX in honor of her virtue and influence. Later, in 1969, she was declared a saint by Pope Paul VI. Every year on April 8, her feast day is observed as a time for contemplation of the timeless virtues that characterized her life: compassion, humility, and an unwavering dedication to serving others.