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Sainte Marguerite d’Youville left an indelible mark on the development of health institutions in Quebec, Manitoba and elsewhere in North America. She was rightly inducted into The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 2003.

Marguerite was born at Varennes on October 15, 1701. From a well-to-do family, she was widowed at 29, in debt, with two children. She paid her debts and turned to a life of prayer and service to the sick and poor, whom she welcomed into her own home to start with.

In 1737, with three companions, she took private vows and laid the foundation for the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Montréal, known as the Grey Nuns. Marguerite faced hostility from polite society, including members of her own family. In 1747, she took over management of the General Hospital of Montréal, which was falling into ruin. She renovated it to care for the poor and for foundling children. She managed it until her death in 1771. Six religious congregations followed in the steps of the “Mother of Universal Charity,” who was beatified in 1959 and canonized in 1990. A phrase used by the people of her time applies to the continuation of her work even today: “Go to the Grey Nuns; they never turn anyone away.”


Exhibition centre with artifacts highlighting the life, spirituality and work of Marguerite and her congregation

The funeral chapel containing her tomb

A basilica erected in 1887 combining various architectural styles

Numerous works of art, including frescoes by Guido Nincheri and a miraculous painting of Saint Anne, dating from 1730

Two 19th-century votive chapels listed as “cultural property,” just steps from the sanctuary

A wooden Calvary, built in 1850, recognized as a “historical monument” in 1962


201, Sainte-Anne Street, Varennes, QC  J3X 1R6
450 652-2441


Société historique et culturelle du Marigot


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Les lignes et couleurs forment une image moderne à laquelle l’eau confère un caractère dynamique et vivant. La croix s’intègre aux flots au même titre que les sanctuaires sont partie intégrante des rives du Saint-Laurent.
La croix, solide, identifie les sanctuaires et rappelle les premières croix de bois plantées en Amérique, témoins d’une histoire qui continue de s’écrire.
Les flots entourent la croix d’une façon telle qu’ils la rendent lumineuse et dominante tout en symbolisant le caractère spirituel des lieux.
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The lines and colours create a modern image, with water adding a dynamic and lively quality. The cross is integrated with the waves, just as the sanctuaries are integral to the shores of the St. Lawrence.
The solid cross represents the sanctuaries, bringing to mind the first wooden crosses carried to America, and bearing witness to an ongoing history.
The waves surround the cross, making it luminous and dominant, a combination that symbolizes the spiritual aspect of these places.

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Las líneas y los colores forman una imagen moderna a la que el agua le confiere un carácter dinámico y vivo. La cruz se integra al río de la misma manera que los santuarios forman parte de las orillas del Saint-Laurent.
La cruz, sólida, se identifica con los santuarios y nos recuerda las primeras cruces de madera plantadas en América, testigos de una historia que se sigue escribiendo.
El agua rodea la cruz de tal manera que la vuelve luminosa y dominante al mismo tiempo que simboliza el carácter espiritual del lugar.
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