Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Saint Marguerite d’Youville (1701–1771)

Saint Marguerite d’Youville (1701–1771)

Patron saint of widows, difficult marriages, death of young children

Feast day: October 16

Saint Marguerite d’Youville was born in rural Quebec in 1701 into serious poverty and dropped out of school to help her widowed mother and younger brothers and sisters. She married unhappily when she was 21, and when her husband died she brought up her two sons alone by running a little store. By the time her sons were grown, she had developed such a reputation for helping out the poor whenever and wherever she could that she and three young friends joined together to start a group called the Sisters of Charity of Montreal, now better known as the Grey Nuns. Among other great accomplishments, Saint Marguerite and the Sisters of Charity started the first home for abandoned children in North America. (From Saints Passionate and Peculiar [Saint Mary’s Press]) 

(Image in public domain-100)