Founder of the Sœurs du Bon-Pasteur of Quebec recognized for her heroic virtues

Friday, June 29, 2012

Marie-Josephte_FitzbachMarie-Josephte Fitzbach (1806 – 1885), a Canadian widow and founder of the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, more commonly known as in Quebec as the Sœurs du Bon-Pasteur (the Good Shepherd Sisters), has been recognized by the Church for her heroic virtues. The decree was recently authorized by the Holy Father during a private audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Her cause for Beatification has been under study by the Holy See since 1997.

Marie-Josephte Fitzbach was born October 16, 1806, in the village of St-Vallier de Bellechasse, Quebec. At the age of 13, she left home because of her family’s financial need and became a domestic servant in Quebec City. She married François-Xavier Roy on April 17, 1828, in Cap-Santé, Quebec, and they had three daughters. In 1833 Mr. Roy died, leaving her a widow at the age of 26. On December 31, 1849, she opened a shelter for women who had been released from prison, and formed a group to help with the project.

On February 2, 1856, the group, known as the “Bon-Pasteur de Québec “, was established as a religious community of women. Marie-Josephte Fitzbach took the name of Mother Marie-du-Sacré-Cœur, and shortly after became its first superior. She died on September 1, 1885.