Viel, Placida, Bl.

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Superior general of the Sisters of the christian schools of mercy; b. ValValcher, Normandy, Sept. 26, 1815; d. Saint-Sauveurle-Vicomte (Manche), March 4, 1877. As a farmer's daughter she had seven years of elementary schooling and then worked at housekeeping in her home until 1833 when she entered religious life at Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte, and exchanged her given name, Victoria Eulalia Jacqueline, for that of Placida. After teaching for a few years, she became mistress of novices. She was also sent to the French court to raise funds, and entrusted with opening new houses. Upon the death of the foundress, St. Mary Magdalene postel, in 1846, Placida succeeded her as superior general, an office she retained until death. During this period the congregation increased its membership from 150 to more than 1,000, and its number of houses from 37 to 105. She was noted for a humble and retiring disposition, high intelligence and charm; but no great mystical graces or spiritual trials are recorded. She was beatified on May 6, 1951.

Feast: March 4.

Bibliography: Blessed Placide Viel, by s. c. (London 1951). a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, ed. h. thurston and d. attwater, 4 v. (New York 1956) 1:483484.

[w. j. battersby]