Bl. Marie-Anne Blondin (1809-1890)
From her own troubles, Marie-Anne (nee. Esther) sought to alleviate others. Marie-Anne was born in Terrebonne, Quebec to devout, though illiterate, farmers. Enlisting her services as a domestic servant with the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame, Marie-Anne took to learning to read and write in her spare time. Seeking to join the Congregation of Notre Dame, Marie-Anne was denied due to her poor health. However, this did not stop the zeal within Marie-Anne’s heart to end the plight of illiteracy so common in the rural areas. For at that time schools were not co-ed, so the expense of running a school for boys and another school for girls was just too much for many rural communities. Marie-Anne gathered other like minded people around her and founded the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Anne. Despite resistance from her bishop, Marie-Anne received permission to open a school for both boys and girls. Due to conflicts with an overbearing chaplain, Bishop Bourget asked her to resign as Superior and prohibited her from accepting re-election. Marie-Anne obediently accepted this, seeking the good of her community. She was stripped of all titles and honours. Marie-Anne was assigned to the laundry room, and there the Foundress was left practically forgotten by her community for the next 32 years till her death. She humbly accepted her situation, entrusting herself and her cause to Divine Providence, leaving her community a legacy of profound virtue.
O Lord, who gave Blessed Marie-Anne Blondin by her contemplation of the Cross strength to fulfill her calling through trial and in obscurity, grant that, through her intercession, we may know and make known the unfathomable mystery of Christ.