Saturday, September 4, 2010

St. Marguerite d'Youville (Oct. 15, 1701 to Dec. 27, 1771)

Numerous books, articles, and magazines are written about how to live life simply: destressing through yoga, cooking easy meals with healthy ingredients, eliminating clutter, enjoying nature, praying to Buddha or whatever is trendy at the time, and spending less money.
So, we continue to buy these types of reading materials hoping to learn something new, only to find the same topics rewritten in a variety of ways depending on the season. Besides, why do we have to be told how to do such things? If you want to live a simple life, learn about it through the lives of the saints.
You don't even have to go to church to do this.
I've found that the people I know who are the happiest or most fulfilled are the ones that have lived through tragedies. They always seem to be the most religious, too. Maybe what they experienced brought about a spiritual awakening. But, that's not the case for everyone.
In my own life, watching so many close relatives die has caused me to stay away from church because so much of the Mass talks about remembering the people who have passed on. I suppose I could deal with it, but then I start thinking about the pain and suffering I saw family members go through in order to get to this place called Heaven.
St. Marguerite d'Youville, the first Canadian-born Roman Catholic saint, survived extreme hardships yet through it all her love for God never ceased.
She was born Marie-Marguerite Dufrost de Lajemmerais on Oct. 15, 1701 in Varennes, Quebec. Her father died when she was a child and, at age 21, she married Francois d'Youville.
He was abusive, committed adultery, and sold liquor illegally to Indians in exchange for furs. By the time he died in 1730, St. Marguerite d'Youville had six children with him.
By age 30, she experienced the deaths of her father, husband, and four children. Her two surviving sons became priests.
St. Marguerite d'Youville founded the Order of Sisters of Charity of Montreal known as the Grey Nuns of Montreal.
She died on Dec. 27, 1771 and her feast day is Oct. 16. Canonized: 1990. She is the patron saint of difficult marriages, widows, and victims of unfaithfulness.

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