Marie de l’Incarnation arrived in Quebec in August 1st 1639 with two other Ursulines and Madame de la Peltrie, a rich widow who was the benefactress of the Ursulines. They intended to found a monastery and a school for Amerindian and French girls. Marie was willing to make Jesus known by all people “redeemed by His most precious blood”.

She devoted herself without counting in the service of the Native girls whom she called “the delight of my heart.”

She had been in charge of the community as superior or treasurer for the major part of her life. Her management skills and intellect were recognized by powerful men such as Canada’s first bishop, François de Laval, but also by governors and intendants. She was consulted by many people for her wisdom and her spirituality.

She died at 72, leaving behind a large correspondence. She even wrote her autobiography in which she reveals her marvellous spiritual journey. “God never led me by a spirit of fear but through love and confidence.” Many writings were published after her death. These constitute one of the sources for the history of the French colony from 1639 to 1671.

John Paul II called her “The Mother of the Canadian Church”.

Pope Francis canonized her on April 3, 2014 as “Apostle of the Americas” together with bishop François de Laval.

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