Sunday, April 30, 2017

St. Marie of the Incarnation

The daughter of a baker, Marie Guyart was born in Tours, France, married a silk manufacturer named Claude Martin when she was seventeen; the couple had one son. Claude died and Marie became a bookkeeper for her brother-in-law. In 1629, she joined the Ursulines at Tours, taking the name Marie of the Incarnation. In 1639, she was sent to Canada where she laid the cornerstone of the first Ursuline convent in Quebec.  She compiled dictionaries in Algonquin and Iroquois and taught the Native people.  Marie experienced mystical visions and suffered periods of spiritual darkness.  She was beatified in 1980 and canonized in 2014.
She is considered a mystic of the Church as she had extraordinary encounters with our Lord and our Lady, which directed her in the path to bring the faith to the peoples of New France.  Among her many accomplishments, Saint Marie learned the languages in her surrounding areas and even developed dictionaries in Algonquin and Iroquois, a sacred history in Algonquin, and a catechism in Iroquois.  She was among the first women missionaries in North America. Her life and her spirituality have inspired many people around the world.

Saint Marie of the Incarnation is described as having been generous, intelligent and of strong character.  We can go to Saint Marie and ask for help in experiencing a similar closeness with Jesus and Mary, to assist us to be detached from the things of this world and to work with zeal to fulfill God’s plans in our lives.
Pat Schifini, OSU

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