Saturday, April 30, 2016

St. Marie of the Incarnation: Mother, Mystic and Missionary

 “My dearest Jesus, through the holiness of Your actions, sanctify mine. I ardently wish them to depend upon You and to be performed for You alone, O my Jesus.”                               ~Marie of the Incarnation

Today, we celebrate the Feast of Marie Guyart of the Incarnation, an Ursuline nun from France who came to the New World to establish a community and school for Indian girls.  Marie Guyart was born on Oct. 28, 1599 in Tours, she grew up strong in faith, adventuresome, confident and full of joy. At the age of 14 she desired to enter the convent but her parents chose instead to engage their daughter to marry Claude Martin, a young manufacturer. Claude was an honest man and Marie admitted she was beginning to love him “very much.” The couple soon welcomed a son, named Claude after his father. Their joy as a family came to an end six months later when Marie’s husband Claude died in 1919, leaving behind his 20-year-old widow and baby son.

At the age of 30 she again felt the urgency of entering the religious life. In consultation with her spiritual advisor, she entered the Ursulines, feeling the desire to teach the young. Her sister took charge of young Claude and raised him as her own son. This decision was not easy for Marie, who was torn by the heartbreaking decision to leave her son. In the convent she was given the name Marie of the Incarnation.  She came to Canada to serve the young Indian girls and learned the Algonquin, Huron and Iroquois languages and wrote dictionaries and catechisms for her students. Marie endured fires and many difficult days but remained steadfast in her mission.

Let us pray this day for the ability to keep faithful to our hopes and dreams and to do everything for the love and glory of God.

Pat Schifini, OSU

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