Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 18 April – St Marie of the Incarnation

Saint of the Day – 18 April – St Marie of the Incarnation O.S.U. (1599-1672) – Also known as Marie Guyard, Marie Guyart of the Incarnation,Marie Guyart, Marie de l’Incarnation, Marie of the Ursulines, Mother of New France, Teresa of the New World

Consecrated religious, widow, mother, Mystic, Missionary, Foundress of the Ursuline Order in Canada and the first school for girls’ in the new world – “The Mother of the Ursulines of New France” – Patron against against impoverishment, against loss of parents, against poverty of parents separated from children, poor people, widows – Beatified – June 1980, Vatican City, by Pope John Paul II – Canonised 2 April 2014 by Pope Francis.

Daughter of a baker, she was raised in a family of craftsmen and tradesmen and was related on her mother‘s side to the noble Barbon de la Bourdaisière family. nnA pious and sometimes mystical child, she would memorise and recite homilies and early wanted to become a nun.   Against her wishes, she entered an arranged marriage with Claude Martin, a silk manufacturer, at age seventeen, and was soon the mother of one son.   Widowed after two years of marriage, she moved back with her family, and refused to discuss re-marriage.   Worked as an embroiderer.

On 25 March 1620 she experienced a vision in which she was shown all her faults and human frailties, then was immersed in Christ’s blood.   This event changed her completely and her desire to be involved in religious life translated to prayer, liturgical devotion and charity.


Finally leaving her father‘s house, Marie worked as a bookkeeper in her brother-in-law’s shipping company.   Having a gift for administration, Marie was soon the company manager.   However, the drive to the religious life never ended and in January 1631 she asked her sister to care for her son Claude and then joined the Ursulines at Tours, France on 25 January 1631.   Claude gathered a group of his friends, all 12 or 13 years old, and tried to storm the convent to “free” his mother but they were unable to gain entry.   This incident has been often cited by her detractors as indicative of a serious flaw in Marie and even she did not wholly understand why she did what she did.   She later explained, however, that she was following God‘s will and Claude apparently came to understand it – he became a Benedictine priest in 1641, the assistant to his Order‘s superior general, and his mother‘s biographer.

Marie took her final vows in 1633 as Marie de l’Incarnation.   Assistant mistress of novices for the Order in Tours. Doctrinal instructor.   After a few years of this work, Marie received another vision that would change her life.   This time it was a huge country of mountains and forests and the message that it was Canada and that she must go there to build a house for Christ.   She worked for years to collect the money and support for her mission and in 3 April 1639 she sailed from Dieppe with Marie-Madeleine de la Peltrie, one of her primary supporters.

She landed in New France on 4 July 1639 and arrived in the future Québec, Canada on 1 August 1639.   She was the first superior of the Ursulines in Canada.   Worked as a missionary to the Natives and other residents in the area.   Studied the local languages with the Jesuits who were already in the area;  she became so proficient that she later wrote Algonquin, Iroquois, Montagnais and Ouendat dictionaries, and a catechism in Iroquois.

She laid the first stone of the convent in 1641 and took it over in 1642.   It formed the base for her work and when it burned on 29 December 1650, she supervised its reconstruction, finishing construction on 29 May 1651.   Ever strong-willed, she opposed bishop Blessed Francis de Montmorency Laval‘s attempt to control the Quebec Ursulines. A prolific correspondent, over 12,000 of her letters have survived.

On April 29th, Marie was feeling extremely sick and received the Last Rites but she could not die without again expressing her love for the dear little Indian and French girls, to whom she had devoted so many years of her life.   She insisted on having the French and Indian schol-boarders near her so that she might bless them for the last time.   The next day she lay unconscious, holding her crucifix in her hands.   At about six o’clock in the evening on April 30, 1672, Marie opened her eyes, sighed twice and breathed her last.



Passionate Catholic. Being Catholic is a way of life - a love affair both with God and Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, our most Blessed and Beloved Virgin Mother Mary and the Church. "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco With the Saints, we "serve the Lord with one consent and serve the Lord with one pure language, not indeed to draw them forth from their secure dwelling-places, not superstitiously to honour them, or wilfully to rely on the, ... but silently to contemplate them for edification, thereby encouraging our faith, enlivening our patience..." Blessed John Henry Newman Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. "For the saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This is a papal fidelity site. Loyal and Obedient to the Current Pope and to the Magisterium United With Him.

3 thoughts on “Saint of the Day – 18 April – St Marie of the Incarnation

  1. I’m afraid that you mix two blesseds by the name Marie of the Incarnation. The date of April 18 refers to Barbe Jeanne Avrillot, Mme Acarie who introduced the Discalced Carmelites in France lived 1566-1618. The pictures with white veil represent her in Carmelite habit. The person you describe has its memorial day on June 2nd and she is Ursuline


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