Feast day: October 16
Patron: Widows, difficult marriages, death of young children.
Birth: October 15, 1701
Death: December 23, 1771
Beatified: 1959 by Pope John XXIII
Canonized: December 9, 1990, Vatican Basilica, by Pope John Paul II
Foundress of the Sisters of Charity, the Grey Nuns of Canada. St. Marguerite D’Youville was born at Varennes, Quebec, on October 15, Marie Marguerite Dufrost de La Jemmerais. She studied under the Ursulines, married Francois D’Youville in 1722, and became a widow in 1730. She worked to support herself and her three children, devoted much of her time to the Confraternity of the Holy Family in charitable activities.
In 1737, with three companions, she founded the Grey Nuns when they took their initial vows; a formal declaration took place in 1745. Two years later she was appointed Directress of the General Hospital in Montreal, which was taken over by the Grey Nuns, and had the rule of the Grey Nuns, with Marguerite as Superior, confirmed by Bishop of Pontbriand of Quebec in 1755.
She died in Montreal on December 23, and since her death, the Grey Nuns have established schools, hospitals, and orphanages throughout Canada, the United States, Africa, and South America, and are especially known for their work among the Eskimos. She was beatified by Pope John XXIII in 1959 and canonized in 1990 by Pope John Paul II.
Saint Marguerite d’Youville (French pronunciation: [maʁɡʁit djuvil]; October 15, 1701 – December 23, 1771) was a French Canadian widow who founded the Order of Sisters of Charity of Montreal, commonly known as the Grey Nuns of Montreal. She was canonized by Pope John Paul II of the Roman Catholic Church in 1990, the first native-born Canadian to be declared a saint.
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Saint Marguerite d’Youville,
We turn you in humble prayer because your life speaks to us of
goodness, compassion and love in the world of suffering, anguish and pain.
It is not unlike the world you knew as you went about doing good
with a great love for the human family, with preference for the poorest of all.
Your dream of universal charity became a mission in the church.
We give thanks to you for the inspiring vision that is ours today as your dream lives on.
May we learn as you did the life-giving power of love,
the profound peace of unfailing trust, the deep mystery of suffering and pain,
the comfort of prayer St. Marguerite, teach us to listen, in the silence of our hearts,
to the God of Mercy and Compassion that we, too, may be signs of
God’s love to all people of our world. Amen