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Canadian Institute for Historical Microreproductions.
THE LIFE OF THE VENERABLE MOTHER MARY OF THE INCARNATION
BY A RELIGIOUS OF THE URSULINE COMMUNITY
The materials for the following Biography have been gathered principally from "The Life of the Mother Mary of the Incarnation" by her son, and from "The History of the Ursuline Monastery at Quebec," by a member of that community, the former published in 1677; the latter in 1863.
The Life of the Venerable Mother by her son, is founded partly on her own communications regarding the graces with which she had been favoured, and partly on her correspondence with himself extending over the thirty years which she passed in Canada. With the genuine information thus received, he intersperses, under the name of "Additions," further details which had either come under his personal observation, or been gleaned from perfectly reliable sources. His work is therefore a sure and invaluable guide to the biographer.
The accounts of her inner life referred to, were written by the Venerable Mother at two different epochs, and each time in obedience to an imperative command from her confessors. The first written in 1633, the 34th year of her age, fell into the possession of the Ursulines of St. Denis, near Paris, who on hearing that Dom Claude Martin was engaged in writing his holy Mother's life, obligingly sent him the precious document. The second, written in 1654, was forwarded to him from Canada.
The Annals of the Quebec Ursulines also afford rich material to the historian of the Mother of the Incarnation, their pages containing constant references to and quotations from her letters both spiritual and historical, as well as from the Annual Reports of the Jesuit Missioners, and other contemporary documents of the highest authenticity and the deepest interest.
The historical statements in the introductory chapter, rest chiefly oh the authority of the Abbé Ferland in his "Cours d'Histoire du Canada," 1861, and of Bancroft in his "History of the United States," 1841. The historical facts incidentally introduced in the course of the work can be verified by reference to the Abbé Ferland or any other Canadian historian, or to the Letters of the Mother of the Incarnation.
It only remains to be noticed that the words "saint," "saintly," and others of similar import are used throughout solely in their popular acceptation, and not with any intention of anticipating the decision of the Church regarding the sanctity of the Venerable Mother Mary of the Incarnation or of any other of God's servants mentioned in these pages.
In like manner, the record of miraculous occurrences, visions, and other extraordinary supernatural favours, is understood to rest as yet only on human authority, and therefore to claim no more than the degree of credibility which attaches to any well authenticated human statement.
_April 30th_ 1880.
208th Anniversary of the death of the Venerable Mother of the Incarnation.
INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER. A Glance at Canada, as it was in the days of the Venerable Mother Mary of the Incarnation.
THE LIFE OF THE VENERABLE MOTHER. FIRST PERIOD, 1599 TO 1631. HER LIFE IN THE WORLD
CHAPTER I. Her infancy, childhood and youth--Early call to union with God.--Charity to the poor.--Purity of soul--Inclination for the Religious Life.
CHAPTER II. Her married life.--Rule of life.--Love of prayer--Perfect fulfilment of duty.--Patience under trial--Zeal for her household.--Influence.--Death of her Husband.
CHAPTER III. Her First year of Widowhood.--Life of solitude in the World.--Vision of the application of the Precious Blood to her soul.--Increased purity of conscience.--Charity to the sick poor.
CHAPTER IV. She quits her solitude.--New evidence of her purity of soul.--Humiliation and dependence in her Sister's house.
CHAPTER V. She is called to a high degree of Divine Union.--New invitation to the perfection of Interior Purity.--Infused knowledge of the nature of the works of God.--Austerities.--Love of contempt.--Active life.--Makes the vows of poverty and obedience.--Heavenly favour.--Temptations.
CHAPTER VI. Supernatural favours.--Lights on the mystery of the Incarnation.--Vision of the Most Adorable Trinity.--Submission to her Director.--Temptations renewed.--Lights on the Divine attributes.
CHAPTER VII. Second Vision of the Most Adorable Trinity.--She is elevated to a sublime degree of Divine Union.
CHAPTER VIII. She resolves to embrace the Religious Life.--Decides finally on the Ursuline Order.--Temptations.--Disappearance of her son.--His return.-- Enters the Convent.
CHAPTER IX. Saint Angela, Foundress of the Ursulines.--Her Early sanctity.--Zeal for the instruction of the ignorant.--Lays the foundation of her great work at Dezenzano--Vision of the Mysterious Ladder.--Removes to Brescia.--Goes to the Holy Land.--To Rome.--To Cremona.--Returns to Brescia.--Founds her Order.--Her holy Death.--Parting Counsels.--Prediction of the stability of her work.--Diffusion of the Order.--Archconfraternity of St. Angela.
SECOND PERIOD, 1631 TO 1639. THE VENERABLE MOTHER'S RELIGIOUS LIFE IN FRANCE.
CHAPTER I. Her Novitiate.--Holy joy.--Virtue tested.--Love of common life.-- Humility.--Obedience.--Trials from her son.--Offers herself as a victim for his salvation.--Third Vision of the Adorable Trinity.--Receives the Holy Habit.
CHAPTER II. Supernatural favours.--Infused knowledge of the Holy Scriptures and of the Latin language.--Facility for imparting Spiritual Instruction.-- Temptations.--Loses her Director.--Interior desolation.--Fidelity.-- Consolation.--Profession.--Renewed Trials.--Reassuring direction.--New difficulties about her son.
CHAPTER III. She is named Assistant-Mistress of Novices.--Prophetic Vision of her vocation to Canada.--Spiritual maxims and instructions.--Spirit of silence.--Forms many Saints.
CHAPTER IV. Increase of zeal for the salvation of souls.--Divinely directed to pray for their conversion through the Heart of Jesus.--Her vocation for Canada is revealed to her.
CHAPTER V. Madame de la Peltrie.--Early Piety.--Charity.--Desire for the Religious State.--Obliged to marry.--Loses her Husband.--Zeal for Souls.--Is inspired to devote herself to the Canadian Mission.--Her vocation confirmed in a dangerous illness.--Opposition.--Death of her Father.-- Services of Monsieur de Bernières.--Goes to Paris.
CHAPTER VI. The Mother of the Incarnation declares her vocation for Canada.-- Contradictions and Humiliations.--Her confidence in God.--Esteem for her vocation.--Submission to the Divine Will.
CHAPTER VII. Madame de la Peltrie invites the Mother of the Incarnation to accompany her to Canada.--The Venerable Mother's answer.--Madame de la Peltrie at Tours.--The Mothers of the Incarnation and St. Bernard selected for the Mission.--Opposition from relatives.--The Venerable Mother's vision of the trials awaiting her.--Monsieur de Bernières.--Farewell Letter.
THIRD PERIOD, 1639 TO 1672. THE VENERABLE MOTHER'S LIFE IN CANADA.
CHAPTER I. Embarkation.--Alarm from a Spanish Fleet.--Danger from an Iceberg.-- Arrival at Tadoussac.--First night in Canada.--Reception at Quebec.-- Visit to Sillery.--The "Louvre."
CHAPTER II. The Mother of the Incarnation recognises Canada to be the country shown her in her prophetic vision.--Opening of the Schools.--Study of the Indian languages.--Small-pox among the Pupils.--Arrival of two Sisters from Paris.--Union of Congregations.-Building of new Convent.
CHAPTER III Work at the "Louvre."--Progress of the Pupils.--Piety.--Lively Faith in the Real Presence.--Refinement of feeling.--Zeal.--Teresa the Huron.-- Agnes.--Little Truants.--Banquets at the "Louvre,"
CHAPTER IV. Renewed Trials of the Venerable Mother.--Madame de la Peltrie removes to Montreal.--Great Poverty of the Ursulines.--Apprehensions.--The Venerable Mother's confidence in God.--Fidelity to grace.--Exactitude to duty.-- Active Life.--First Elections.--Removal to the New Monastery.--Return of
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