Thursday, August 24, 2017

Saint Margaret Bourgeoys Virgin and Foundress 1620-1700

Saint Margaret Bourgeoys
Virgin and Foundress 1620-1700

      Saint Margaret Bourgeoys, the first Canadian Saint, was born in Troyes France in 1620. She emigrated to Canada in 1652, opened the first school for children in 1657, founded the Congregation of Notre Dame in 1671 and died in 1700.
     She was only twenty years old when she followed a call to consecrate herself to the service of God. She became a member of congregation of Troyes made up of Pious and charitable young women who were dedicated teachers of the children of the poorest in the neighborhood. At the direct invitation of the governor, Margaret migrated to Montreal, Canada to tutor the children of the French garrison. Her devotion to the service of others also included the young women who went to the French colony to marry and start their own families. This led to the establishment of a school system that eventually extended to the whole country. This holy and dedicated servant gained the titles Mother of Colony  and Cofoundress of the Church of Canada.
     Saint Margaret founded the Congregation of Notre Dame brought about by other women who wished to follow her life of prayer, heroic poverty, and service to others. Her Congregation, which received its civil charter from King Louis XIV in 1671, its canonical approval from Bishop Laval of Quebec in 1676, and the approbation of its religious constitutions in 1698, spread throughout Canada and later in different parts of the world.
     She was beatified and canonized in 1982. 

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