Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Marguerite dYouville-webOn October 16, the Church in Canada celebrates the life and witness of Saint Marguerite d’Youville, founder of the Sisters of Charity of Montreal (Grey Nuns). Marie-Marguerite Dufrost de Lajemmerais was born in Varennes, Quebec, on October 15, 1701. On August 12, 1722, she married François Youville de la Découverte. He died in 1730, leaving Marguerite, who was pregnant for the sixth time, with two living children and considerable debt. In 1737, she rented a house in Montreal where she gave hospitality to women in need. She and three companions made private religious vows. In 1747, Marguerite was put in charge of the administration of the Charon Brothers Hospital. When her term was up in 1750, she wrote to France for help and offered to pay the hospital’s debts. The King, Louis XV, confirmed her as director of the hospital on June 3, 1753, and authorized her to form a religious community which was approved by the Most Reverend Henri-Marie de Pontbriand, then Bishop of Quebec, in 1755. On December 9 and 13, 1771, she suffered two attacks of paralysis and died on December 23. She was canonized on December 9, 1990, by Pope (now Saint) John Paul II.

The principal text outlining her life and spirituality which has been posted on the CCCB Website is an extract and translation from the liturgical supplement issued by the French Sector Commission for Liturgy and the Sacraments for each Canadian Saint and Blessed. Printed copies of the complete supplement in French are on sale from CCCB Publications.

The following outline of her life and spirituality is part of an initiative by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) to celebrate the Year of Consecrated Life. The CCCB English Sector Office for Evangelization and Catechesis has developed catechetical resources on the life and spirituality of Saint Marguerite d’Youville.

Link to the biography of Saint Marguerite d’Youville (PDF)

Link to catechetical resources in English

Link to the website of the of the Sisters of Charity of Montreal