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Awards and Recognition
Consumers Research Council of America
Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare
Practice Green Health
Partners for Change Award
Hospitals for Healthy Environment
About St. Marguerite d'Youville
Marguerite d'Youville is an example of living hope and innovative faith. The eldest of six children, Marguerite lost her father when she was seven. She profited by two years of schooling at the Ursuline Convent in Quebec, and became not only the teacher of her younger brothers and sisters, but her mother's indispensable helper in the home. While with the Ursulines, Marguerite discovered the French School of Spirituality which inspired her to go to God the Father through Jesus and to go out to serve the others. This spirituality was the source of her creative strength in the future.
Marguerite grew to be a lovely young woman much sought after socially. After her family moved to Montreal, Francois d'Youville won her hand in marriage. They went to live with his mother who was a domineering woman. Francois was frequently absent and illegally traded liquor with the Indians which caused Marguerite great pain. She was pregnant with their sixth child when Francois became seriously ill and died at age thirty after eight years of marriage. Of their six children, four died in infancy. A widow at 28, Marguerite was left with two small sons to raise and her husband's enormous debts. She opened a small store to repay these debts, educated her sons, and managed to provide for the needs of Montreal's poor who came across her path. Her relatives did not approve of this, something that women of her class just didn't do! Marguerite's deep understanding of human need energized her to continue in the face of opposition and to answer the call to make God's love known. In 1737, she and three companions dedicated themselves to the service of the poor, thus founding the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Montreal, "Grey Nuns." Marguerite reached out to all in need, recognizing the suffering of her day and doing whatever she could to relieve it. She opened her heart and home to the poor, the sick, the elderly, wounded soldiers, abandoned infants, prostitutes, and the mentally ill of her time. At her beatification in 1959, Pope John XXIII bestowed upon her the title Mother of Universal Charity for the unconditional love which exemplified her service to others.
Courtesy of The Knights of Columbus, Council 9235