SANCTUARY OF SAINT MARGUERITE D’YOUVILLE

MARGUERITE D’YOUVILLE, A WOMAN OF FAITH WITH A HEART THAT KNEW NO BOUNDS

Sainte Marguerite d’Youville left an indelible mark on the development of health institutions in Quebec, Manitoba and elsewhere in North America. She was rightly inducted into The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2003.

Marguerite was born at Varennes on October 15, 1701. From a well-to-do family, she was widowed at 29, in debt, with two children. She paid her debts and turned to a life of prayer and service to the sick and poor, whom she welcomed into her own home to start with.

In 1737, with three companions, she took private vows and laid the foundation for the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Montréal, known as the Grey Nuns. Marguerite faced hostility from polite society, including members of her own family. In 1747, she took over management of the General Hospital of Montréal, which was falling into ruin. She renovated it to care for the poor and for foundling children. She managed it until her death in 1771. Six religious congregations followed in the steps of the “Mother of Universal Charity,” who was beatified in 1959 and canonized in 1990. A phrase used by the people of her time applies to the continuation of her work even today: “Go to the Grey Nuns; they never turn anyone away.”

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Exhibition centre with artifacts highlighting the life, spirituality and work of Marguerite and her congregation

The funeral chapel containing her tomb

A basilica erected in 1887 combining various architectural styles

Numerous works of art, including frescoes by Guido Nincheri and a miraculous painting of Saint Anne, dating from 1730

Two 19th-century votive chapels listed as “cultural property,” just steps from the sanctuary

A wooden Calvary, built in 1850, recognized as a “historical monument” in 1962

ADDRESS

201, Sainte-Anne Street, Varennes, QC  J3X 1R6
450 652-2441

INFORMATION OU RESERVATIONS

Société historique et culturelle du Marigot

450.677.4573