St. Marie de l’Incarnation (1599-1672)
Mother of New France. Marie was born in Tours, France. Her father was a baker and her mother was related to a noble family. From an early age, Marie sensed a calling to give her life totally to God. Though she had expressed at the age of fourteen to enter religious life, her parents had her marry at the age of seventeen. However, after two years of marriage, her husband died, leaving her with a six month old son. She came to live with her sister, working as a bookkeeper, and then manager, of her brother-in-law’s business. At the age of thirty, Marie once again had an ardent desire to enter religious life. With permission of her spiritual director, Marie entered the Ursuline convent in Tours, leaving her twelve year old son in the care of her sister. Through a vision, Marie sensed God calling her to serve in the land of Canada. She settled in Quebec City, and there established the Ursuline community. Marie sought to learn the languages of the First Nations people, compiling dictionaries and a catechism for them in their own language. Throughout her time in Quebec, Marie maintained correspondence with her son Claude, who became himself a Benedictine priest and her biographer.
O Lord, our God, who led Saint Marie of the Incarnation to contemplate the wonder of the Trinity and filled her heart with apostolic zeal, grant that, with her as our intercessor and guide, we may live as witnesses to your love, so that whose who come to know, love, and serve you may constantly grow in number.