Sainte Marie de l'Incarnation
Ursuline au Canada (+ 1672)
Des quais de la Loire, aux rives du Saint-Laurent - l'histoire de Marie Guyard par Hermann Giguère, professeur à l'Université Laval avec son aimable autorisation.
Marie de l'Incarnation (1599-1672), femme de Dieu pour aujourd'hui, fondatrice des Ursulines à Québec, béatifiée le 22 juin 1980, est appelée à juste titre 'mère de l'Église canadienne' puisqu'elle a aidé à mettre au monde cette jeune Église, dans des circonstances particulièrement épineuses, par sa présence et son engagement dans la jeune colonie, de 1639 à 1672.
Après quatre siècles, l'exemple de sa vie et sa doctrine continuent de rayonner et d'attirer à Dieu ceux et celle qui apprennent à la connaître. Son expérience mystique et missionnaire, enracinée dans le terreau de la vie concrète quotidienne, exerce une fascination et lance un appel à plusieurs de nos contemporains. (diocèse d'Edmundston)
- Marie de l'Incarnation: femme de miséricorde Mystique et missionnaire, Marie-de-l'Incarnation goûte à la miséricorde comme expérience salvatrice.
À Québec au Canada, en 1672, la bienheureuse Marie de l'Incarnation (Marie Guyart Martin). Mère de famille à Tours, après la mort de son mari, elle confia son tout jeune fils Claude aux soins de sa sœur, fit profession religieuse chez les Ursulines, fonda leur première maison au Canada et réalisa beaucoup de choses remarquables.
Tombeau de Marie de l'Incarnation, chapelle des Ursulines de Québec
Plaque de la fondation du premier monastère des Ursulines en Nouvelle-France, Place Royale dans la Basse-Ville du Vieux-Québec. Texte de la plaque: Le 1er août 1639, Marie de l'Incarnation, ursuline de Tours en France et ses deux compagnes fondent à cet emplacement le premier monastère d'Ursulines en Nouvelle-France. Dans une maison concédée par la Compagnie des Cent-Associés, elles accueillent jusqu'à dix-huit enfants pensionnaires. Après le départ des Ursulines pour la Haute-Ville en 1642, les Augustines, arrivées en même temps que les Ursulines, occupent à leur tour cette maison. 1639-1989
Monument aux Communautés religieuses enseignantes,
sculpture réalisée par Jules Lasalle en 1997, située à la place des
« Une main posée en porte-à-faux sur une pile de livres symbolise l’apport des communautés de femmes enseignantes à la construction de la colonie. L’œuvre souligne également le 325e anniversaire de la mort de Marie de l’Incarnation, fondatrice du monastère des Ursulines de Québec et de la première école pour filles en Amérique du Nord, en 1639. »
3 1/2 cords of firewood.
” 6 March—4 cords of firewood.
” 13 March—1 pot of butter weighing 12 lbs.
” 13 November—fat pig, 1 barrel of peas.
” . . . . . . . .—1 barrel of salted eel.
Marie Guyart of the Incarnation
Marie de l’Incarnation
Marie of the Ursulines
Mother of New France
Theresa of the New World
formerly 27 February
Daughter of a baker, she was raised in a family of craftsmen and tradesmen, and was related on her mother‘s side to the noble Barbon de la Bourdaisière family. A pious and sometimes mystical child, she would memorize and recite homilies, and early wanted to become a nun. Against her wishes, she entered an arranged marriage with Claude Martin, a silk manufacturer, at age seventeen, and was soon the mother of one son. Widowed after two years of marriage, she moved back with her family, and refused to discuss re-marriage. Worked as an embroiderer.
On 25 March 1620 she experienced a vision in which she was shown all her faults and human frailties, then was immersed in Christ’s blood. This event changed her completely, and her desire to be involved in religious life translated to prayer, liturgical devotion, and charity.
Finally leaving her father‘s house, Marie worked as a bookkeeper in her brother-in-law’s shipping company. Having a gift for administration, Marie was soon the company manager. However, the drive to the religious life never ended, and in January 1631 she asked her sister to care for her son Claude, and then joined the Ursulines at Tours, France on 25 January 1631. Claude gathered a group of his friends, all 12 or 13 years old, and tried to storm the convent to “free” his mother, but they were unable to gain entry. This incident has been often cited by her detractors as indicative of a serious flaw in Marie, and even she did not wholly understand why she did what she did. She later explained, however, that she was following God‘s will, and Claude apparently came to understand it – he became a Benedictine priest in 1641, the assistant to his Order‘s superior general, and his mother‘s biographer.
Marie took her final vows in 1633 as Marie de l’Incarnation. Assistant mistress of novices for the Order in Tours. Doctrinal instructor. After a few years of this work, Marie received another vision that would change her life. This time it was a huge country of mountains and forests, and the message that it was Canada, and that she must go there to build a house for Christ. She worked for years to collect the money and support for her mission, and in 3 April 1639 she sailed from Dieppe with Marie-Madeleine de la Peltrie, one of her primary supporters.
She landed in New France on 4 July 1639, and arrived in the future Québec, Canada on 1 August 1639. She was the first superior of the Ursulines in Canada. Worked as a missionary to the Natives and other residents in the area. Studied the local languages with the Jesuits who were already in the area; she became so proficient that she later wrote Algonquin, Iroquois, Montagnais, and Ouendat dictionaries, and a catechism in Iroquois.
She laid the first stone of the convent in 1641, and took it over in 1642. It formed the base for her work, and when it burned on 29 December 1650, she supervised its reconstruction, finishing construction on 29 May 1651. Ever strong-willed, she opposed bishop Blessed Francis de Montmorency Laval‘s attempt to control the Quebec Ursulines. A prolific correspondent, over 12,000 of her letters have survived.
Catholic Encyclopedia, by A Fournet
Life of the Venerable Mother Mary of the Incarnation, by a Religious of the Ursuline Community
Saints of the Day, by Katherine Rabenstein
Ursuline Monastery, Quebec, Canada
Folle de Dieu – video
When the soul has reached this state, it makes very little difference whether it is buried in business worries or enjoys restful solitude. It is all the same for the soul, for everything that touches it, everything that surrounds it, everything that strikes its senses does not prevent its enjoyment of love’s presence. – Blessed Marie
“Saint Marie of the Incarnation Guyart“. CatholicSaints.Info. 28 July 2020. Web. 1 May 2021. <http://catholicsaints.info/saint-marie-of-the-incarnation-guyart/>
Among the remarkable and holy personages who illustrated the church in France during the seventeenth century, few rose higher than Mary Guyard, known in religion as Mother Mary of the Incarnation, who, with Madame de la Peltrie, founded the Ursuline Convent at Quebec. Charlevoix, called by Bancroft “the best of our early historians,” styles her the Saint Teresa of New France; and so great an admirer was he of her singular ability and holiness that he wrote her life. She was born at Tours, 18 October 1599. Her childhood was marked by eminent piety, and her inclinations all pointed to a religious life, but, yielding to the will of her parents, she married at the age of seventeen Mr. Martin, a silk manufacturer. Aiding him in his affairs, she showed already an ability for management that was to be subsequently of great assistance to her. But her married life was short. Left a widow at the age of nineteen, her mind turned to the religious state; but, till her son attained the age of twelve, she remained in the world, leading a life of piety and industry, combining the highest contemplation with the most distract ing employments.
In 1631, she entered the Ursuline Convent at Tours. Here she felt supernaturally called to labor in a country utterly strange to her. The vocation of Madame de la Peltrie to labor in Canada drew the two together, and led to the project of founding the Ursuline Convent of Quebec. Mother Mary of the Incarnation came over in 1639 with a few nuns.
In the organization and direction of her new convent, Mother Mary of the Incarnation showed that she was indeed called by God. She began at once the work of instruction, the nuns taking as pupils, not only the daughters of the colonists, but also those of the friendly Indian tribes. This led Mother Mary to acquire several of the Indian languages, in which she wrote instructions for her little pupils. They lived for a time as best they could, their monastery not being begun till 1641; in fact, they did not enter it till 21 November 1642. Poverty and trials of various kinds befell them; their convent was destroyed by fire in December 1650, in the very middle of a Canadian winter, but nothing could daunt the great soul of Mother Mary of the Incarnation. She restored her house, and the nuns resumed their work of devotion. She continued to direct the monastery as Superior to her last illness, and died 30 April 1672.
In the troubles of the colony caused by the war waged by the Iroquois, she was frequently consulted, all respecting her advice. Her son, Dom Claude Martin, who had become an eminent Benedictine, published her Life and her Spiritual and Historical Letters, her Holy School, or, Explanation of the Larger Catechism, and her Spiritual Retreats.
Bossuet, Camus, Mr. Emery, in France, as well as Bishop Laval, Fathers Lallemant and Charlevoix, speak of her in the highest terms of admiration, Bossuet styling her “the Teresa of our days and of the New World”; and Rev. Mr. Emery used her works exclusively in one of his spiritual retreats, saying: “She is a saint whom I most sincerely revere.”
The convent she founded, the oldest on the continent north of the Spanish parts, still flourishes in Quebec, both as a select academy for young ladies and a free school for poor children. In August 1873, it contained professed choir sisters, novices, and lay sisters – ninety-three in all. In the select school there are four hundred and ten pupils, and in the free school three hundred pupils.
“Mother Mary of the Incarnation”. , 1874. CatholicSaints.Info. 16 January 2017. Web. 1 May 2021. <https://catholicsaints.info/illustrated-catholic-family-annual-mother-mary-of-the-incarnation/>