On the occasion of the release of her book “Filles de Roi” (Artège), Aleteia meets Gwenaëlle Foillard. The founder of the “Filles de Roi” congress shares her vision of women and gives advice so that every woman dares to develop her talents to reach her full potential.
At 41, Gwenaëlle Foillard has the spirit of a fighter. She is married, mother of five, she is an entrepreneur at heart. She started three businesses, the first at 23. Her life of faith is an intimate and living relationship with the Father. From this branch relationship comes “Filles de Roi”. She invites women to give meaning to their lives by using their talents, not to be afraid to undertake, to look far, to be successful in their own life.
Aleteia: What are the main stages of your career?
Gwenaelle Foillard : I am married, my husband is a psychiatrist, we have 5 children. We currently live in Toulon, due to our mission. Previously we were in the Paris region and Normandy. I have created three companies, with which I want to express my involvement in the city. This is not the case for all women, but I think this commitment is important. My life of faith is fundamental, my first memories date back to the age of 4 in the oratory of my parents’ house. I have always loved God. Despite my weaknesses, my faults, my shortcomings, the Lord has always been very present for me.
Why did you find “Filles de Rois”?
I have always loved the Father, I am the Father’s favorite daughter. So I inherited the Heaven that belongs to us! The “Daughters of the King” congresses were born from this filial love. Towards the age of 20 I met more Christ, then the Holy Spirit. This Trinitarian love is very important. And of course the Virgin Mary too.
Woman is woman, wife and mother. The king’s daughter is a praying woman – a woman who loves prayer – and a fighter.
I have had questions about the place of women in all sectors of society and also about the vocation of women as daughters, wives and mothers. What is fundamental for me is prayer. In a Normandy chapel, we started with a group of women to meet and pray together. We thought of joining a group of Mothers’ Prayers because it is a very beautiful movement, but in prayer we have been given to get closer to a larger dimension of the “mother” aspect. “Filles de Roi” she replies to this: woman is woman, wife and mother. The king’s daughter is a praying woman – a woman who loves prayer – and a fighter.
How are the “Filles de Roi” congresses going?
The congresses last three days with three highlights. The first evening is on the theme ‘Woman, get up’. The idea is that every woman comes to hand over all her sins and all her weaknesses, with Mary Magdalene, at the foot of the cross. We saw a lot of healings that first night.
Then on the second day, the theme is “Woman, reveal yourself”. Once the woman is on her feet, she can give herself, reveal herself and give her talents to the world. The day ends with the vigil of the seven mountains of influence, these are the seven areas in which women are invited to participate, namely: church, family and education, health and social, politics, media, art and culture and finally business, leadership and innovation. Every woman can identify with one or more mountains of influence. The women are called and the workers pray for these women who come forward.
The biggest obstacle is the impostor syndrome.
The third and last day is themed “Woman, Get up”. It deals with the theme of prayer, of meditation, so that the woman can count on the Lord, for her and for her mission. Pius XII said that “woman is the crown of Creation and her masterpiece”, so it is important that women have moments of intimacy with the Lord. During the congresses some specific themes are addressed: the place of women in the Church, feminism (its good and bad), there is also a course for women who have children in Sky.
What advice do you give women to identify and grow their gifts?
I see two things. First, spend more time on prayer and worship because the Lord reveals us to ourselves. He knows us better than we do! The second thing is not to be afraid to be authentic and follow your dreams. Anything is possible, it is never too late. We can accomplish anything and everything is good from the moment love is there.
What obstacles have you most often identified for women in fulfilling their mission?
The biggest obstacle is the impostor syndrome. It is an impressive brake and one that rises often. It is a brake on the life of society, to work in society. Edith Stein talks a lot about it too. I see a second thing related to the sin of women, this sin of wanting to seduce and please for oneself. And there the woman loses the essential. The woman is supposed to be the mirror of the Eternal, so if she shines for herself, she has lost everything.
In your opinion, what are the greatest challenges forwomen in today’s world?
In fact, I talk about today’s challenges in my book. I mention three. The first challenge is to find a good relationship with man. For example, feminism has had positive aspects, such as obtaining the right to vote for women. It was a necessary claim. But if it’s about crushing or replacing the man, that’s no good.
Women are princesses, warriors, whatever you want, but also servants.
The second challenge for women is not to disperse. Mary, the Blessed Virgin, is the Father’s favorite daughter but she also says of herself that she is the ‘handmaid of the Lord’. Women are princesses, warriors, whatever you want, but also servants. Women must go back to their origins, otherwise they are lost in family life, their activities, their work, their free time. The third challenge is to make sense of their lives by fielding their talents. That they are not afraid to undertake, to look far, to succeed in their life.
Your book also talks about the relationship with man. What is the message you particularly care about?
The woman and the bond with the man are really important. The woman is not made alone, there is a complementarity between Adam and Eve. I wouldn’t be where I am without my husband. The Lord gave a mission to both of us, Adam and Eve. It is this right complementarity that allows us to truly work in the world.
Next congress “Filles de Roi” in Sainte-Baume on 7, 8 and 9 October 2022. Registration in Filles de Roi.