“In all these sufferings 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 known His compassionate love to all. She undertook many charitable works with complete trust in God, who she loved as a Father.” (Vatican biography of Saint Marguerite d’Youville)
Today, October 16, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Marguerite d’Youville (1701-1771), the foundress of the Sisters of Charity of Montreal (known as the “Grey Nuns”). A widow and mother of two young sons, Marguerite looked beyond her family, generously extending her charity to the world’s wounded people in her midst. In the broken hearts, spirits and bodies of the destitute she saw Jesus Christ. At her beatification Pope John XXIII called her “Mother of Universal Charity.”
Grey Nuns” due to the color of their habits, these tireless women were mocked and derided by society, as service to the poor was not looked upon with favor in that time. (Humorously, the word “grey” in translation can also mean “tipsy” or “drunken,” which the sisters were occasionally called in reference to Marguerite’s late husband’s bootlegging career. In humility, Marguerite chose grey as the color of the order’s habits, to remind her sisters of their humble beginnings.)
“Pope John XXIII beatified Marguerite on May 3, 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 sympathize 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.”
St. Marguerite d'Youville,
During your lifetime,
you opened your heart and home
to every type of human misery.
Listen now to my prayer of petition.
I count on you to plead with the God of Love
to grant the favor I seek with confidence and trust.
Gift us as you were gifted;
with ever deepening faith,
with firm hope and trust.
Let my life be for all a service of love.
Mother of Universal Charity,
your love for the poor
made the impossible possible.
Please make haste to help me.
Day 289 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Compassionate Love for all; Service to Others.
Requested Intentions: Son’s employment (K); Discernment of the Lord’s will (A); Mother’s full recovery from a stroke (K); Employment (P); For family’s prosperity and employment (M); For a husband’s addiction (F); Health in a relationship, literary representation (D); For a mother struggling with cancer (P); Employment and financial assistance (L); End to work troubles, return to health (R); For a husband’s recovery from alcoholism (M); For a pregnant sister in the ICU (J); For a family’s safety, health, and successful education (S); Successful employment and relationship (E); Reconciliation with a friend, sanctity of a relationship (G); Increase in Rosary prayers by youth and students (S); Successful outcome of court case and employment (L); For guidance and righteous love (K); Restoration of a relationship (H); For successful employment (I); For a daughter’s successful relationship (M); For a relationship sanctified by God (M); For health of father; For canonization of Pope John Paul II (A); Those suffering from depression (J); Successful adoption (S); Healing of a father battling cancer (S).
Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?
Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."
To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."
As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."