Skip to main content
ParishConnect LogoHome
Nativity of Our Lord
search
Login

Next Masses

Allarrow-right
Tue7:00 PM
Wed7:00 PM
Thu9:30 AM

Jan. 12th - St. Marguerite Bourgeoys

Fr. Michael MachacekNativity of Our LordJanuary 12, 2023
unlockPublic

today's readings are Hebrews 3: 7-14; Psalm 95 and Mk. 1:40-45

Marguerite was born in Troyes, France, in 1620, the seventh of 13 children of a middle class family. At the age of 20, she felt the call to serve the Lord during a procession of Our Lady of the Rosary.  Working with the sodality of the Congregation of Notre-Dame, in the year 1653 Marguerite accepted the invitation of the Governor of Ville-Marie (now Montreal) to come to New France to found a school in Ville-Marie.

Upon arrival, Marguerite quickly got to work.  She founded the first church of Montreal, the chapel of Our Lady of Good Hope (Bonsecours) as well as its first school.  With the arrival of the Filles du Roi, beginning in 1663, the Marguerite and her fellow sisters built a residence for these young women who had been recruited to come to New France to marry and through their children expand the population of New France.  

The Bishop of New France was not happy with the idea of a group of uncloistered nuns, who lived with and amongst the people, and he tried to ensure that they were cloistered.  Marguerite travelled back to France were she obtained letters patent from King Louis XIV to ensure that the congregation could be a group of secular nuns.  

Marguerite died on this day in 1700.  The day after her death, a priest wrote, "If saints were canonized as in the past by the voice of the people and of the clergy, tomorrow we would be saying the Mass of Saint Marguerite of Canada."  However her formal elevation to sainthood had to wait until 1982, when she was canonized by Pope St. John Paul II.

Her legacy of caring for and educating people continues on in the work of the sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame which has had such a presence in Canada, more than a few of whom played a part in my own spiritual formation, for which I am truly grateful.

St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, pray for us!

PS - if you plan on visiting Montreal in the future, you can visit the church of  Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours. The original church, opened in 1675, was destroyed in a fire in 1754.  However, a statue of Our Lady that Marguerite has obtained during a visit to France in 1672 survived the fire and can still be viewed by her tomb at the front left of the rebuilt chapel.   For more information, go to http://www.marguerite-bourgeoys.com/  As you do so, click EN at the top right, and then click on Chapel at the top centre.