One Minute Reflection- 16 October – “Woe to you Pharisees!”

One Minute Reflection- 16 October – Wednesday of the Twenty-eighth week in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 11:42-46 and the Memorial of St Marie Marguerite d’Youville (1701-1771)

“Woe to you Pharisees! for you love the best seat in the synagogues and salutations in the market places.”…Luke 11:43woe-to-you-pharisees-luke-11-43-17-oct-2018.jpg

REFLECTION – “Christianity is not a matter of persuading people of particular ideas but of inviting them to share in the greatness of Christ.   So pray, that I may never fall into the trap, of impressing people, with clever speech but instead, I may learn, to speak with humility, desiring only to impress people with Christ Himself.”…St Ignatius of Antioch (c 35 – 107) Father of the Church, Martyrchristianity is not a matter of persuading people - st ignatius of antioch - 16 oct 2019

PRAYER – Lord Jesus Christ, You wondrously revealed all of the deep treasures of Your Heart to Your saints.   May their merits and example win us the grace to love You above all things and in all things so that we may make our abode in Your own Sacred Hea  rt. With You, for You and in You, may we assist and love our neigh  bour. Hear the prayers of St Marguerite d’Youville on our behalf dear Lord, we beg.   Through Christ our Lord, in the union of the Holy Spirit, God who live and reign forever, marguerite dyouville pray for us 16 oct 2019

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 16 October – Saint Marie Marguerite d’Youville (1701-1771)

Saint of the Day – 16 October – Saint Marie Marguerite d’Youville (1701-1771) Foundress of the Sisters of Charity – commonly known as the Grey Nuns of Montreal., Widow, “Mother of Universal Charity” – born on 15 October 1701 in Varennes, Quebec and died on 23 December 1771 (aged 70) in Montreal, Quebec of natural causes. Patronages – widows, difficult marriages, death of young children.   Marguerite was the first native-born Canadian to be declared a saint.19901209_maria_marguerite_youville.jpg

Marguerite was the eldest of six children born to Christophe Dufrost de Lajemmerais and Marie-Renée Gaultier.   Her father died when she was seven years old leaving this family of six in great poverty.   It was only through the influence of her great-grandfather, Pierre Boucher, that she was enabled to study for two years at the Ursulines in Quebec. Upon her return home, she became an invaluable support to her mother and undertook the education of her brothers and sisters.

She married François d’Youville in 1722 and the young couple made their home with his mother who made life miserable for her daughter-in-law.   She soon came to realise 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.   By age 29, she had experienced desperate poverty and suffered the loss of her father and husband.   Four of her six children had died in infancy.

In all these suffering Marguerite grew in her belief of God’s presence in her life and of His tender love for every human person.   She, in turn, wanted to make knownHhis compassionate love to all.   She undertook many charitable works with complete trust in God, who she loved as a marguerite d'youville.jpg
She provided for the education of her two sons, who later became priests and she welcomed a blind woman into her home.   Marguerite was soon joined by three young women who shared her love and concern for the poor.   On 31 December 1737, they consecrated themselves to God and promised to serve Him in the person of the poor. Marguerite, without even realising it, had become the foundress of the Sisters of Charity of Montreal, “Grey Nuns”.

Marguerite always fought for the rights of the poor and broke with the social conventions of her day.   It was a daring move that made her the object of ridicule and taunts by her own relatives and neighbours.   She persevered in caring for the poor despite many obstacles.   She was in weakened health and mourning the death of one of her companions when a fire destroyed their home.   This only served to deepen her commitment to the poor.   On 2 February 1745, she and her two early companions pledged themselves to put everything in common, in order to help a greater number of persons in need.   Two years later, this “mother of the poor” as she was called, was asked to become director of the Charon Brothers Hospital in Montreal which was falling into ruin.   She and her sisters rebuilt the hospital and cared for those in most desperate human misery.   With the help of her sisters and their lay collaborators, Marguerite laid the foundation for service to the poor of a thousand faces.504px-James_Duncan_Marguerite_d_Youville

In 1765 a fire destroyed the hospital but nothing could destroy Marguerite’s faith and courage.   She asked her sisters and the poor who lived at the hospital, to recognise the hand of God in this disaster and to offer Him praise.   At the age of 64 she undertook the reconstruction of this shelter for those in need.   Totally exhausted from a lifetime of self-giving, Marguerite died on 23 December 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.   Her sisters have served on almost every continent.   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.jpg

St Pope John XXIII Beatified Marguerite on 3 May 1959 and called her “Mother of Universal Charity” – a well-merited title for one who continues to this day to reach out to all with love and compassion.   Marguerite d’Youville can sympathise with the unfortunate and painful situation of so many orphans, with adolescents worried about the future, with disillusioned girls who live without hope, with married woman suffering from unrequited love and with single parents.   But, most especially, Marguerite is a kindred spirit with all who have given their lives to helping others.   The power of Marguerite’s intercession before God was clearly evidenced when a young woman stricken with acute myelobastic leukemia in 1978 was miraculously cured.   This great favour opened for Marguerite the door to the official proclamation of sainthood.

She was Canonised by St Pope John Paul II on 9 December 1990 at St Peter’s icon