Saint Marie-Marguerite d’Youville
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The Sulpicians celebrate 16 October with the Grey Sisters of Montreal, the memorial of their foundress, Saint Marie-Marguerite d’Youville (1701-1771).
Born on 15 October 1701 in Varennes, New France, Marie-Marguerite Dufrost de Lajemmerais led a difficult life already from her earliest days. Four of her six children died, and when she was widowed, her husband left her with large debts. She managed to pay off the debts through hard work, and her two remaining sons became priests. She was a very devout woman of courageous faith who dedicated her life to serving the poor.
In 1737 she founded the Institute of the Sisters of Charity of Montreal, commonly called the “Grey Sisters.” She led them as the superior until her death on 23 December 1771. Today, six religious congregations of sisters trace their origins to Saint Marie-Marguerite and continue her ministry of charitable works. To this day, the Sulpicians, who have served as chaplains for the Grey Sisters in Montreal for generations, remain close to this community.
Saint Marie-Marguerite, known as the “Mother of Universal Charity,” was canonized by Pope John Paul II on 9 December 1990.
On this special day, the Sulpicians wish the Grey Sisters and their sister congregations boundless blessings!
Collect for the day:
God of Tenderness and mercy, you led Saint Marie-Marguerite d’Youville along paths that lead to the cross, and you willed that her charity would bring aid to the distressed of her time. Grant us the boldness she manifested to show your compassion. Give us a share in her strength that we may remain your faithful servants until you invite us to share in the joy of all the saints. We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever. Amen.