The Holiness of the Church in the Nineteenth Century – Placida Bellanger


The servant of God, Placida Bellanger, a Borromean Sister, displayed great heroism during the French Revolution. A revolutionary mob had broken into the hospital of Saint-Die. Swords and daggers were raised to strike down the superior; but Placida, the youngest of the Sisters, cast herself between the assassins and their victim, caught their blows, and while her face streamed with blood, put the cowardly rabble to flight. Disguised as a servant girl she went out often at night during those terrible days at Saint-Die to minister like an angel of charity to the misery all about, though a price had been put upon her head and she had already been condemned to the scaffold should she continue in the work of her vocation. Often, too, in later life, Sister Placida gave noble proof of her fearless courage. With the same energy she labored for the perfection of her interior life. It was this that kept her humble and self-sacrificing in spite of the admiration she excited, and these virtues joined with great prudence and amiability made her singularly capable in the practice of her vocation. The extraordinary influence of her sanctity captivated every one who had anything to do with her. Four times she was unanimously elected superior-general of her Congregation. In this office she died at the age of seventy-six, on 23 July 1841, at Nancy.

MLA Citation

  • Father Constantine Kempf, SJ. “Placida Bellanger”. The Holiness of the Church in the Nineteenth Century: Saintly Men and Women of Our Own Times, 1916. CatholicSaints.Info. 17 March 2018. Web. 22 October 2020. <>