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- The Life of Venerable Sister Margaret Bourgeois - 1/25 -


[Illustration: SISTER MARGARET BOURGEOIS Foundress of the Congregation of Notre Dame ESTABLISHED IN MONTREAL. CANADA. 1659.]

THE LIFE OF VENERABLE SISTER MARGARET BOURGEOIS,

FOUNDRESS OF THE SISTERS OF THE CONGREGATION OF NOTRE DAME.

_ESTABLISHED AT MONTREAL, CANADA, 1659_.

_TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH_

BY A RELIGIEUSE, CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA.

AUTHOR'S PREFACE

* * * * *

Having read a French edition of the Life of Venerable Sister Bourgeois, published in 1818, the translator of the present work was so charmed by its perusal that she resolved on rendering it into English for the spiritual edification of others.

Many years ago the work of translation was commenced, but from some preventing cause or other, was as often laid aside. Yet the idea of presenting it to the public remained, as no _English_ Version of Sister Bourgeois' life exists, at least in the United States.

Therefore determining at last to obey an impulse of long standing, the scattered translation sheets have been prepared for publication, with the humble hope that the reader may derive as much benefit from their perusal as did the writer.

In this age of miscellaneous and corrupt literature, when people of every condition of life are literally devouring irreligious magazines and serials, it surely cannot be amiss to add another volume to the already rich store of our libraries in order to help roll back the torrent of universal depravity that threatens the rain of our beloved country, and also to place before the minds of the young, the glorious example of one of God's heroines.

The _Second Centennial_ of Sister Bourgeois' advent to America is already past, and more than a hundred years before the _Declaration of Independence_, was she laboring in the cause of humanity for the glory of God in the New World.

If reading the lives of such women as Mrs. Seton--a Protestant American lady, who after her conversion to the Catholic Church in Italy so burned with the love of God, as to return to her native land in her early widowhood to form a flourishing religious sisterhood in New York; of Nano Nagle, an Irish aristocrat, who turned from a useless fashionable life to the lowly spirit of the gospel on seeing the poor artizans of Paris crowding to early Mass in the Church of Notre Dame before beginning their daily toil, while she lolled weariedly in her carriage after a midnight ball; heroically putting her hand to the plough, she never turned back, and left behind her another religious Sisterhood in Ireland to perpetuate her philanthropic sanctity: of Catharine McAuley, who receiving from her adopted Protestant parents a princely fortune, expended every shilling of it in building up the Order of Mercy, one of the latest and most flourishing outposts of the Church of God; of St. Jane de Chantal, who after having been tried in the fire of affliction for years--founded in her advanced widowhood the Order of the Visitation, under the direction of St. Francis de Sales--and who attained such an extraordinary degree of perfection as to be seen ascending to heaven like a luminous meteor after her happy death.

If the perusal of the lives of these, and a host of other sainted women, such as the Catholic Church alone can produce, has filled many a young heart with high and holy aspirations--perhaps the contents of this little volume will not be less efficacious for the glory of God, the interests of religion, and the salvation of souls.

A literal translation has been adhered to as far as possible--one or two remarks at the close being the only additions. So if any defects exist in the work they belong solely to the translator, whose aim has not been rhetorical composition, but the greater glory of God. And if but one heart be won more closely to the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ by its perusal, she will be amply repaid, and prays that the blessing of the Sacred Heart of Jesus may be given to her humble effort to advance His honor and glory.

Respectfully, THE AUTHORESS.

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

THE DISCOVERY OF CANADA AND COLONIZATION OF MONTREAL.

CHAPTER II.

MESSRS. DAUVERSIERE AND DE MAISONNEUVE VISIT MONTREAL

CHAPTER III.

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE HOTEL DIEU--ECCLESIASTICAL APPOINTMENTS FOR CANADA, ETC.

CHAPTER IV.

EARLY YEARS OF MARGARET BOURGEOIS AND HER VOCATION FOR THE CANADIAN MISSION

CHAPTER V.

MARGARET BOURGEOIS, AFTER MANY TRIALS AND MORTIFICATIONS, AT LENGTH SAILS WITH M. DE MAISONNEUVE FOR CANADA

CHAPTER VI.

SISTER BOURGEOIS'S ARRIVAL IN CANADA

CHAPTER VII.

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SISTERS OF THE CONGREGATION OF NOTRE DAME AT VILLE-MARIE

CHAPTER VIII.

M. FRANCOIS DE LAVAL DE MONTMORENCI IS APPOINTED FIRST BISHOP OF CANADA--SISTER BOURGEOIS SUCCEEDS IN BUILDING THE CHURCH OF NOTRE DAME

CHAPTER IX.

THE RULES OF THE CONGREGATION AND ESTABLISHMENT OF MISSIONS

CHAPTER X.

THE PRIVATE AND SOCIAL VIRTUES OF SISTER BOURGEOIS

CHAPTER XI.

SISTER BOURGEOIS'S HAPPY DEATH AND THE WONDERS THAT FOLLOWED IT

CHAPTER XII.

THE EXCELLENCE OF HER INSTITUTES, HER MAXIMS, INSTITUTIONS, ETC.

CHAPTER XIII.

A RECAPITULATION OF THE PRINCIPAL EVENTS OF THE LIFE OF SISTER BOURGEOIS

CONCLUSION

LIFE OF THE VENERABLE SISTER MARGARET BOURGEOIS.

* * * * *

CHAPTER I.

THE DISCOVERY OF CANADA AND COLONIZATION OF MONTREAL.

Every one knows that America is called the New World because, until the close of the 15th century, it was unknown to the other nations of the earth--at least it was then unknown to Europe. Until quite near the end of that century, Canada was absolutely a _terra incognita_--being one vast forest, inhabited only by the red man, and by beasts as wild and untamable as he. In the year 1534, James Cartier, a skilful navigator, being provided with a commission from the King of France, set sail from St. Malo, with two ships of sixty tons burden, carrying one hundred and twenty-two well-equipped seamen, in order to reconnoitre that part of the New World. Cartier's first voyage was quite successful. He discovered Canada and took possession of it, in the name of the French King. Having made his observations from the different posts which surround the Gulf that receives into its bosom the waters of the great river of Canada, since called the St. Lawrence, he conversed as well as he could with the savages, whenever an opportunity offered, in order to study their characters, and thought he occasionally discovered in them dispositions favorable to Christianity.

This led him to hope that the King would form a colony in the country,


The Life of Venerable Sister Margaret Bourgeois - 1/25

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