Who is Catherine ?
PORTRAIT OF AN AUGUSTINIAN NUN IN LOVE WITH GOD, SOULS… AND CANADA.
The hospital work was already nine years old when Marie-Catherine of Saint-Augustin, a young nun, joined the ranks of the pioneers. She was then 16 years old. His inexhaustible zeal in her “land of crosses” lasted twenty years. She died on May 8, 1668, with a fame of her holiness. Her very simple life hid a soul filled with extraordinary graces. Marie Catherine of Saint-Augustin was missed by the entire population of New France. She is counted among the Founders of the Canadian Church.
Those who knew her closely affirm that she was serene, open, a ray of joy and that she manifested herself as a strong woman who looked life straight in the eyes and without fear. Critical sense, firmness and tenderness harmonized in this nun to compose an endearing and resourceful personality. So the sisters entrusted her with important responsibilities: 1st hospitaller (directress of the hospital), responsible for the sick and nursing staff, the training of novices, the finances.
In this country, Marie-Catherine of Saint-Augustin gave herself completely, she played a leading role. She was attached to Canada by all the fibers of her being. Canon Groulx affirms: “Certainly, all the great souls of his time in the colony, all the founders of the Church in New France gave their lives for their adopted country. But I do not know, who, as much as the Hospitaller of Quebec, carried in her mind, the obsessive thought of Canada, offered her more lovingly her prayers and her labors, became attached to them, riveted by more solemn bonds ”. Already, when she left France, she had made a vow to die on Canadian soil if God wanted to. And when the Iroquois threatened to exterminate the colony, she renewed this vow specifying that, even if all the nuns returned to France, she would like to remain alone in Canada to serve the poor and the sick of the country.
Marie-Catherine de Saint-Augustin is considered a co-founder of the Canadian Church, she appears to be a local Hospitaller, a heroine of charity which belongs to our heritage of holiness, if we can put it that way. Bishop de Laval said of her: "She is a masterpiece of the Holy Spirit". The Amerindians had given it the name of: Iakonikonriiostha, that is to say, " : the one who beautifies the soul and make the heart warmer"! She was recognized “Venerable" by Rome on June 9, 1984, the Holy Father John Paul II proclaimed her" Blessed "on April 23, 1989.
CHRONOLOGY OF THE IMPORTANT STAGES OF HER LIFE
Childhood in Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte (Normandy) – From her birth to 12 years old
May 3: Birth of Catherine Symon de Longpré. Baptism the same day in the church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste. Photos of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste church in Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte.
1634 (At 2 years old):
Raised by her maternal grandparents after being fed by own mother.
Prediction of his maternal grandfather of her future holiness.
1635 (3 and a half years):
Emerging desire to do the will of God.
1636 (4 years):
She wishes to receive confirmation when the bishop visits her village but is considered too young.
1637 (5 years):
First devilish manifestations: she is mysteriously pushed 3 times from the top of a hill to the bottom, but then feels "gently carried as by an invisible hand".
She suffers from severe headaches due to a head infection for 3 months.
1640 (8 years):
November 1st: First Communion on the feast of all saints. Desire for holiness in his heart.
1641 (around 9 years old):
Period of relaxation of virtues. Trivialities and vanities.
1642 (10 years):
Mysterious dream of her entry into religion.
September 8 (Nativity of the blessed Virgin): First consecration to the Virgin.
1643 (11 years old):
March 19 (feast of saint Joseph): Catherine enters the association of the Holy Family to obtain the grace to die well.
March 25: She takes the little habit of Notre-Dame and is cured that same day of a fever that had tormented her for 3 years.
1644 (12 years old):
January 1st: Catherine decides to enter into religion to obey God's will for her.