Marie-Marguerite d'Youville, the first native Canadian to be elevated to sainthood, was born October 15, 1701 at Varennes, Quebec. Her father died when she was a young girl, leaving her family of six children in extreme poverty. Marguerite grandfather provided her the means to study with the Ursuline sisters and she obtained good education. Upon her return home, she became an invaluable support to her mother and undertook the education of her brothers and sisters. At age 21, she got married to François You de la Découverte, who was a decadent and immoral man. She soon came to realize that her husband had no interest in making a home life. His frequent absences and illegal liquor trading with the Indians caused her great suffering. She was pregnant with her sixth child when François became seriously ill. She faithfully cared for him until his death in 1730. Four of her six children had died in infancy. She worked hard to support herself and her children, devoted much of her time to the Confraternity of the Holy Family in charitable activities. She provided the education of her two sons, who later became priests. Marguerite died on December 23, 1771 and will always be remembered as a loving mother who served Jesus Christ in the poor. Marguerite was one woman, but this daughter of the Church had a vision of caring for the poor that has spread far and wide. Today, her mission is courageously carried on in a spirit of hope by the Sisters of Charity of Montreal, "Grey Nuns" and their sister communities: the Sisters of Charity of St. Hyacinthe, the Sisters of Charity at Ottawa, the Sisters of Charity of Quebec, the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart (Philadelphia) and the Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception (Pembroke).
St Marguerite d”Youville, during your lifetime you opened your heart and home to every type of human in misery. Listen with compassion to my prayer petition. I count on you to plead with the God of Love to grant the favor I now seek with confidence and trust. Amen.