Above: St. Margurite Bourgeoys
Image in the Public Domain
SAINT MARGUERITE BOURGEOYS (APRIL 17, 1620-JANUARY 12, 1700)
Foundress of the Sisters of Notre Dame
Born in Troyes, France, St. Marguerite Bourgeoys came from a rich merchant’s family. She cared for her younger siblings after her mother died in 1639. Then, after tending to her family, the saint joined the Congregation of Troyes, a women’s order which taught poor children in the area.
St. Marguerite Bourgeoys met the Governor of New France in 1652. He was recruiting teachers for the outpost at Ville-Marie. The saint accepted the offer, and she arrived at the fort the following year. She was initially the nurse and teacher. She organized the construction of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel in 1655. (That structure has ceased to exit, and the current chapel sits on the same site) The following year, the saint organized the first school in Montreal. She enlisted teachers from France during the succeeding years, and proceeded to oversee the founding of schools in Quebec and to work with the First Nations, some members of which were hostile.
The saint founded the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1676, serving as superior until 1698, when she resigned.
Her order continues the good work.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
SEPTEMBER 13, 2010 COMMON ERA
THE FEAST OF ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM, BISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE
O God, by whose grace your servant St. Marguerite Bourgeoys, kindled with the flame of your love, became a burning and a shining light in your Church: Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline, and walk before you as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Psalm 133 or 34:1-8 or 119:161-168
2 Corinthians 6:1-10
—Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints (2010)
Revised on November 15, 2016