Following her arrival in Canada, Saint Marguerite worked tirelessly to improve health care and education for the settlers—French, Canadian,and Iriquois alike. She founded a school, began the construction of the Notre Dame de Bon Secours chapel in honor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and founded the first Canadian religious order for women, the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame. Despite her bishop’s urgings, and eventual orders to remain cloistered, Marguerite and her growing community braved the harsh and dangerous wilderness, teaching and ministering to settlers, the sick, and the poor, eventually convincing Church authorities that they were of more service to God in their present arrangements than they would be cloistered. Her bishop is reported to have said, “I cannot doubt, Mother Bourgeoys, that you will succeed in moving heaven and earth as you have moved me!"
Today, the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame number in the thousands, working to promote health, education, and family around the world—in Canada, the United States, Japan, Cameroon, Latin America, and France.
Saint Marguerite was an incredibly brave woman, dedicated to the Holy Mother, and committed to serving the Lord. She put herself at daily risk to deliver the news of God, and minister to the poor and sick. She changed the role of women in new world churches from cloistered to active leaders, earning her the title, “Mother of the Colony.” How often do we fail to listen to what is asked of us because we are afraid, or feel we may look foolish? How quickly do we forget that our Lord will keep us safe? Today we pray for the fire and courage of the Holy Spirit—like that experienced by the disciples on Pentecost—and like that so embodied by Saint Marguerite. We pray for those who live in fear.
Today I continue my Novena to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, for the intentions of many, listed below. Also, requested prayers today include peace and hope for those suffering financial hardship (A), safe recovery for those undergoing surgery (L), and relief and cure for those afflicted with cancer.
Day 12 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Those who live in fear; The times when we are afraid
Prayer Requests: Those in financial hardship (A); Safe recovery for those undergoing surgery (L); Relief and cure for those afflicted with cancer.
Special Intentions: Those trying to conceive or adopt; Those who are pregnant or expecting children; New parents; Those who have experienced miscarriage or pregnancy complications