ASGM L103_H01 Centre Marguerite d'Youville, Gisant de Mère d'Youville, vers 1960.
Marking one stage of the process toward her sainthood, Marguerite d’Youville was beatified by Pope John Paul XXIII in a ceremony in Rome in 1959. The occasion offered the chance for the Grey Nuns to honour their founder by devoting a section of the Mother House to her legacy. The ground-floor corridor leading to this room, situated in the hallway between the chapel and the Saint-Mathieu wing, was installed with stained glass windows to beautify the space and educate visitors about the life of Marguerite d’Youville. As was common after someone’s beatification, her life-sized wax effigy was exhibited inside a glass box flanked by flowers and candles. Worshipping at this sanctuary became a regular practice for Grey Nuns.
“Mother d’Youville had been beatified in 1959…To honour her presence…and present her to people, we had what we called the Centre Marguerite d’Youville.”
Sister Cécile Castonguay
As the sisters gradually left the Mother House, d’Youville’s effigy was moved to the crypt. The stained glass windows, meanwhile, migrated to the Square Angus Apartments in Montreal, where many retired sisters relocated. The original Centre d’Youville space is now the Centre de Petite Enfance daycare.
Listen to the sisters sing in the crypt (2015)
Marguerite d’Youville was granted sainthood by Pope John Paul II on December 9, 1990, concluding the canonization process that officially began with her recognition as Venerable in 1890. A museum of artifacts highlighting the life and work of Marguerite d’Youville, as well as her tomb, stand today on the south shore of Montreal in Varennes, her place of birth.